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Kentex, subcontractor could be ordered to pay P7.8M in underpaid wages – DOLE

Kentex Manufacturing Corp. and its subcontractor CJC Manpower Services could be made to pay P7.8 million in underpaid wages for 99 workers deployed to the rubber sandal maker.
Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a statement Saturday that the Department of Labor and Employment's regional office in Central Luzon may issued a compliance order requiring payment of wages owed to the workers next week.
“A compliance order will be issued against Kentex and CJC Manpower Services directing them to pay the amount due the workers under the Labor Code, as amended, and other labor laws. Kentex will shoulder the liabilities as the direct employer, CJC Manpower Services, being a 'labor-only' contractor,” she said.
Baldoz said the amount does not yet include overtime pay, night shift differential, 13th month pay, holiday pay, vacation and leave pay, refund of cash bond, and social security benefits.
“It also does not include the amount due the workers of Kentex itself, which will be the subject of another compliance order to be issued by DOLE National Capital Region Director Alex Avila,” Baldoz explained.
She added, “And since the establishment is unionized and has a valid collective bargaining agreement until 2017, union members are entitled death benefits equivalent to 15 days of salary times the number of years in the service, as well as other benefits stipulated in the CBA.”
On the other hand, Baldoz noted that the officers and owners of Kentex and CJC Services may be held criminally liable for violation of the Wage Rationalization Act for failure to pay any of the prescribed increases or adjustments in the wage rates, given the noted underpayments.
“The penalty for such could be a fine of not less than P25,000 nor more than P100,000, or imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than four years, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court,” she said.
Likewise, both companies may also be held criminally liable for violation of Article 116 of the Labor Code, as amended, which penalizes withholding any amount from the wages of a worker without consent. The penalty is a fine of from P1,000 to P10,000, or imprisonment of from three months to three years.
On occupational safety and health standards violations, Baldoz added these are not criminal offenses under the Labor Code, as amended, but emphasized that fraud committed by Kentex in the course of the joint assessment can be penalized under Art. 288 of the Labor Code. — JDS, GMA News