Ninja Van riders, management settle labor case, strike notice

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LOGISTICS company Ninja Van Philippines has reached an agreement with its labor union, which earlier threatened to go on a strike.

“In view of the foregoing agreement, the instant notice of strike is now settled, and the conciliation mediation proceedings terminated,” according to a copy of the settlement deal reached on May 2.

Ninja Van riders and company representatives met at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) office in Intramuros, Manila.

Under the settlement deal between the riders and Wall Street Courier Services, Inc., which operates Ninja Van Philippines, management decided to embark on a redundancy program’ for riders under preventive suspension.

Forty-six riders will be paid a month’s salary for every year of service. The redundancy program will be implemented by June 10.

“A fraction of at least six months shall be considered as one whole year to compute the length of service of the affected rider,” according to the agreement.

Riders who have undergone a 30-day preventive suspension will be paid their salaries from the first day after the suspension until their termination, according to the minutes of the May 2 meeting.

Ninja Van ‘commits’ to “continuously address the riders’ concerns on assignment, low volume of parcels, refund of gasoline reimbursement allowance and vehicle maintenance allowances, subject to the exercise of Management’s prerogative in good faith.”

Federation of Free Workers President Jose Sonny G. Matula in a Viber message said the union would file complaints before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration for unsettled issues like unfair labor practices, illegal termination and diminution of benefits.

“Our riders are always free to raise their concerns with us, and we have always shown that we always meet and hear them at all the appropriate channels,” Ninja Van Philippines Communications head Ralph Angelo V. Ty told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

“We have always upheld the mediation process with the NCMB, and have always worked closely with all parties and strived for a resolution,” he added.

The union filed a notice of strike against the company on Feb. 14. About 300 regular employees were being “unfairly treated,” union President Dick P. Pacioles said in an interview in March.

“The journey is still far,” he said in a text message. “Most of our regular riders will file cases with the NLRC due to the company’s illegal dismissal.”

Ninja Van serves e-commerce platforms including Lazada and Zalora. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana