Friday, September 17, 2010

Nestlé Cabuyao Factory Signs New CBA

Cabuyao Factory management and union formally signed a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on July 7 at Bellevue Hotel in Alabang, a significant move towards the manufacturing facility’s realization of its vision to become the lighthouse factory of Nestlé Philippines, Inc. (NPI).

NPI Chairman and CEO John Miller hailed the new CBA as one of the most important achievements of the Company this year. “The new CBA serves as a symbol of how industrial relations should be managed. My vision is that in years to come the relationship between the union and management will be seen as the ‘gold standard’ against which other companies measure their own industrial relations.”

John said he was impressed by the speed with which the agreement has been reached. “I believe this is truly a win-win for all stakeholders as it speaks of two parties keen to engage and find a common ground. But more than anything, I have been deeply struck by the spirit in which the negotiations have been conducted, which is one that has been characterized by mutual respect, trust and openness.”

Noting the atmosphere that prevailed in Cabuyao in the recent past, John added, “Ultimately it is the goodwill that men hold in their hearts that will determine the strength of any agreement. I believe that the foundations that we are laying today are solid and built upon a wealth of goodwill. We all have an important role to play in ensuring that our great Company goes from strength to strength, so that we can deliver on our commitment to our consumers and our customers, namely the delivery of affordable, healthy, nutritious quality products, wherever, whenever and however they choose to consume them.”

Nestlé Cabuyao Workers Union (NCWU) President Jojo Agustin thanked his fellow officers and colleagues for tirelessly working towards improving the welfare of the members, which eventually led to the CBA signing. “I would like to thank management for granting us the new CBA benefits, and more importantly, for recognizing the existence of the newly formed union and for the respect and trust that it has bestowed on us. Rest assured that we, the union officers, will work hard to represent our constituents and raise their concerns to management. In the course of working together, we know that there will be difficult conversations and differing points of view from various stakeholders, but you have our commitment that all these will be done within the context of principled dialogue, trust, and respect.”

Earlier, after signing the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on May 14, 2010, NCWU Vice President Rico Magat, representing the union officers, wrote to Zone AOA Managing Director Frits van Dijk to express the union’s gratitude to Nestlé management for the “successful and historical CBA event.”

“Being part of the CBA union panel, I would say that the Management panel brings a lot of understanding and insight of what a CBA should and should not be all about,” Rico wrote. “We hope that the next CBA will be repeated as it has been concluded, with a lot of listening, a lot of talking, a lot of discussion, laughing, shaking hands, eating, and peaceful and principled ending. With this, we have inspired not only Nestlé Philippines but also the whole world that anything can be achieved through peaceful dialogue and with common minds for a better Nestlé Cabuyao Factory! The Company has displayed once again the genuine concern for its employees. Rest assured that better performance and utmost quality to our work will be done. The Associates of Cabuyao Factory are grateful!”

In his response, Mr. van Dijk cited the union and NPI as a whole for a job well done. “You can well understand that I was particularly pleased to receive this e-mail. Having been very much part of Cabuyao’s history since the mid-80s, this is a very rewarding message.”

Mr. van Dijk also acknowledged the efforts of HR Director Gid Manuel and Cabuyao Factory Manager Craig Thomas. “My thanks to both of you, who I know have been instrumental in getting to this stage, and to all others members of the Nestlé family who were involved. Let us not forget to learn from the past and avoid a build-up of negative elements over time. I wish you success in bringing Nestlé Cabuyao to new heights in the years to come.”

In his message during the CBA signing, Factory Manager Craig Thomas shared how pleased he was that both the union and management panels did not only have the conclusion of the CBA as their goal during the negotiation; rather, both panels were mindful of preserving the harmonious working relationships and the spirit of respect for each other. “The way forward is to honor the contract, but more importantly, to continue collaborating to make Cabuyao Factory a lighthouse factory. While concluding the CBA is indeed a milestone, this also signals the beginning of a new challenge and the unfolding of a new chapter, which will require greater effort and collaboration as we gear for our future success.”

Cabuyao Site HR Head Jun Corpus, who welcomed both panels during the formal CBA signing, cited the highlights of the factory’s transformation journey and acknowledged the role of the Samahang Ugnayan, an association made up of employees who raised concerns during communication meetings and helped execute employee relations programs in the days prior to the certification of the new union as the exclusive bargaining representative. The NCWU was unanimously elected as the sole and exclusive bargaining unit in Cabuyao Factory during the certification election held on January 29, 2010. This led to the CBA negotiations that started in March 2010.

“At the heart of the richness of goodwill that characterizes the new industrial relations climate is a very principled and professional union that believes in dialogue and proactive cooperation as well as in taking care of its constituents,” Jun said.

Led by its president Jojo Agustin, the union panel was composed of vice-president Rico Magat, secretary Angel Solano, treasurer Edgardo Austria, auditor Ed Guevarra, and board members Dexter Castillo, Patrick de Guzman and Resty Conde. The management panel, on the other hand, was headed by its chairman, QA Head Rico Opena, with members composed of Site HR Head Jun Corpus as spokesperson, and line managers and supervisors who acted as resource on shop floor concerns namely, Frank Reyes, Mar Atienza, Manny Alzona, Toto Demonteverde, Dave Velez, and Archie Valencia.

“The future looks very bright for Cabuyao Factory,” beamed Technical Director Campo van Beek. “Over the past few years, Nestlé has kept full trust and confidence in the capabilities of the Cabuyao factory and its people, and we have continued to invest heavily in equipment, infrastructure, and last but not least, in the people of Cabuyao. Even as I speak today, we are engaged in three multi-million dollar projects to upgrade the facilities of Cabuyao Factory, and we are hiring new employees to cope with the increasing volume that we need to produce. We are ready for the future, and Cabuyao is on its way to become one of the top factories in the world.”

SOURCE: Nestle Family Balita (July 30, 2010)

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