Philippines Report

Up to 10,000 Jollibee workers to be regularized

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday said more than 10,000 workers of Filipino fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. may soon be granted regular employment status.

Bello said the inspection of compliance to labor laws by establishments, including Jollibee’s other branches nationwide, was ongoing and labor inspectors were already submitting their reports to the heads of the regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).

“On a nationwide basis, you can think of more than 10,000 to 50,000 workers, considering the bulk of the employees of Jollibee,” he added.

Dole’s National Capital Region Director Henry John Jalbuena on Wednesday ordered Jollibee to regularize 6,482 workers from two of its contractors in Metro Manila.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s largest business group, is questioning the validity of the order, saying it should have been issued by the labor secretary himself.

Bello defended the decision of Dole-NCR, saying such an order need not come from him.

“He (Jalbuena) has the authority. And if they question the regional director, then they can appeal to me. But, definitely our directors are empowered to do that,” Bello said.

He said he welcomed Jollibee’s plan to appeal the order.

“The decision of the regional director is appealable to me. We have a procedure for that,” he said.

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