Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Appeals Court Ruling to Regularize Contractual Employees at PLDT


Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Appeals Court Ruling to Regularize Contractual Employees at PLDT

After nearly eight years of legal battles, a significant victory has emerged for thousands of contractual workers employed by PLDT, the Philippines’ largest and most established telecommunications company. This breakthrough stems from a recent Supreme Court decision issued in recent months.

Celebrating its 96th year, PLDT stands as a publicly listed company on both the Philippines Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. It offers a broad spectrum of fixed-line and wireless services, boasting a workforce of over 17 thousand employees as of 2022.

In 2016, the company became entangled in a collective bargaining dispute with one of its in-house unions. Subsequently, the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) intervened to investigate, ultimately siding with the union’s claims. In 2018, DOLE issued a directive mandating the regularization of more than 7,000 contractual employees.

Disputing this directive, PLDT brought the matter to the courts that same year. The Court of Appeals then issued a ruling, met with mixed reactions, prompting further appeals from PLDT, the former DOLE Secretary, and the affected labour union.

The Supreme Court has now upheld the Appeals Court’s 2018 ruling, affirming that PLDT must regularize contract workers engaged in core functions such as installation, repair, and maintenance services—integral to the company’s operations.

Arthur S. Castillo, President of UNI affiliate, the Communications Workers of the Philippines (CWP), expressed satisfaction, stating, “We are pleased with the definitive conclusion recognizing that contractual employees, working under the direct control and supervision of the ‘contracting’ company, deserve the same rights as regular employees.”

UNI Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya commended the union for its perseverance in bringing the case all the way to the Supreme Court, offering solidarity wishes, “I am heartened by this development and extend my congratulations to the union for achieving this significant milestone through their enduring struggle.”


ICT & Related Services

The Philippines