A STRIKE by non-academic employees has become more likely after the Samahang Manggawa ng UST (SM-UST) voted to strike to protest what it alleged as union-busting over the decision of the administration to fire the union’s president.

The strike may happen anytime from now until school opening.

Atty. Manuel Beaniza, director of the Center for Human Resource Development (CHRD), issued a termination letter to Arturo Sangalang, SM-UST president, last May 7 citing serious misconduct and violation of the order of Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas last Jan. 22 assuming jurisdiction of the labor dispute over a dead-lock in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

In her order, Sto. Tomas restrains the two sides from committing any action that may “exacerbate the labor dispute.”

According to the administration, Sangalang violated the order by leading non-academic employees to boycott their recollection last April and defy management.

On May 14, security personnel prevented Sangalang from entering the University. The ban was ordered by Beaniza, who was implementing the termination.

SM-UST called the ban a form of “harassment.” It added that the ban was “unfair,” since the CBA deadlock case between the Union and the Management has yet to be resolved by the labor department.

In a vote last May 15, SM-UST voted to go on strike.

The SM-UST also submitted an appeal to Vice-Rector Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P.

“We appeal therefore to your wisdom, sense of justice and compassion to immediately recall and set aside the standing ban on the entry of Mr. Sangalang into the University premises and to allow the latter to freely discharge his sworn duties and responsibilities as Union president and more importantly to serve the needs of the members,” the letter stated.

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However, the administration said it will continue to prevent Sangalang from entering the University premises to enforce the termination order.

The Varsitarian tried to interview Beaniza, but he refused to comment on the issue. John Patrick D. Padilla

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