In the age of digital transactions and checks, a factory worker in the city of Valenzuela in the Philippines was shocked when his employer paid his wages in bags full of coins. As the worker’s plight gained sympathy online, it also drew the attention of the city administration who intervened and suspended the employer’s settlement permit.
Filipino man Russel MaÃ±osa was paid for his work at the NexGreen Enterprise parts factory in centavo. Shocked by the insulting behavior, her cousin posted an article about the incident on Facebook, asking for help from city officials and unions. MaÃ±osa claimed the payment was retribution for her complaints about alleged unfair labor practices at the factory, ABS-CBN News reported.
The post caught the attention of not only social media, but also Mayor Rex Gatchalian of the city of Valenzuela. Calling it a “cruel and unusual” labor practice, the mayor promised he would get to the bottom of the problem and “deal with it accordingly.” He not only met the man to hear about his woes, but also held a meeting moderating a session between him and his employer.
According to CNN Philippines, coins denominated in 1 centavo, 5 centavos, 10 centavos and 25 centavos can be used to pay an amount not exceeding P100.00.
“Why did you pay your employee with five and ten cents?” It is insulting and it robs the worker of his dignity, âGatchalian said during a live broadcast of the meeting.
According to Vice, the owner, Jasper Cheng So, claimed the employee was mistakenly paid in parts and was not intended for him. However, the mayor was not convinced. So, later he apologized for the payment in pieces and said that “whatever the mistake or whatever is my command responsibility so I accept anything.” I will not dispute.
Gatchalian said NexGreen had a ‘model’ of improper treatment of workers and warned its owner that such practices had no place in the city, PhilStar reported. The city found that the company did not pay MaÃ±oza the correct minimum wage, overtime, night differential and paid time off, the report added.
After the meeting, the mayor issued a suspension order for the business operations of a factory. Valenzuela Business Permit and Licensing Office has served a stay order against Nexgreen Enterprise for its alleged unfair labor practices and violations. “Nexgreen will have 15 days to rectify the infringements, failure to comply with this rule will result in the revocation of the establishment permit”, wrote the mayor on his Facebook page updating everything.
As the company was investigated for malpractice, representatives from the Office of Workers’ Affairs also discovered that the complainant was not only being paid in coins, but that he was being paid way too much. little. In an estimate calculated by the administration, MaÃ±oza should have received P 55,614.93 for the five months of work he returned for NexGreen. He had just received P1.056 in parts.
âThere may potentially be more ‘Russels’ in this business who may be more victimized if we don’t suspend the operation. Public welfare comes into play all the time and it is my responsibility to ensure that no one suffers the same fate again, âthe mayor said in a statement.
The mayor also met with 13 other employees of the same company to resolve their problems. “They will also receive food packages from the city government and help secure Nexgreen’s deserved salary,” the mayor wrote, sharing some footage of his interaction with the workers.
The city administration also shared footage of how it is helping the man find another job. The mayor also said that not only MaÃ±oza, but other company staff who have been harassed will also be helped to find a better employer.