1,975 OFWs plea for SC action on labor case


By Florencio P. Narito

LEGAZPI CITY – A total of 1,975 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have appealed to the Third Division of the Supreme Court for the release of its decision on the 25-year discrimination suit filed by them against Brown & Root Intl. Ltd. (now Kellog Brown & Root Intl. Ltd. ), an American steel fabrication firm.

Virgilio M. Lopez, one of the complainants from Legazpi City, said the biggest and longest labor case in the country had stemmed from a case filed by former OFWs based in Behrain, Abu Dhabi and other Middle East countries against Kellog Brown & Root Intl. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Halliburton Group of Companies for back wages and retirement pay, exemplary and moral damages, withholding of hazard risk pay, holiday pay, non-payment of social security pension benefits amounting to $609 million plus interest up to 2004.

“This is the biggest award to be granted so far to OFWs in the history of labor adjudication in the country as soon as the favorable decision is released by the high tribunal,” Lopez, a retired official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said.

Lopez further said that during a rally in front of the Supreme Court participated by OFWs from Batangas and Legazpi City, the group informed the High Tribunal that the American lawyers from Brown & Root Intl. Ltd. had written their legal counsel that they would abide with the decision of the Supreme Court as long as they could present said decision.

The petitioners from Legazpi City, led by Virgilio M. Lopez, had petitioned the Third Division chaired by Justice Teresita Ynares-Santiago to fast-track the release of the decision to enable them to enjoy the benefits they have long been waiting for during the last 25 years.

Lopez said that more than 200 of their fellow OFWs have already passed away without enjoying the fruits of their labor. Many are already growing old and need money for their medical needs. (BicolMail)

One Response to “1,975 OFWs plea for SC action on labor case”

  1. KATEJAH MANONGSONG-PURISIMA Says:

    It is sad to know that we are having problems on when the decision would be released by our very own supreme court. We all knew that the supreme court would have to read on thousands of papers, documents, and others… We are also aware that it is not easy to decide on matters such as this but for God’s sake this was 23 years ago! My father and the other OFWs who worked here are even too old to travel to follow up their case, some are sick and some died. Is this the kind of government we have? I really think that all are technically set. The Kellog Brown and Root would abide by the decision our Supreme Court has to make so what are these justices waiting for?

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