Jollibee CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong Sues Company, Demands Paid Leave, 13th-Month Pay
(Pasig City, Philippines) – The Philippine corporate world was rocked Monday when long-time CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong filed a suit at the Pasig Regional Trial Court against his company Jollibee Foods Corporation to demand, among others, health-care benefits, paid leave, 13th-month pay, and the end to worker contractualization, starting with himself.
At an impromptu press conference outside the court, the chief executive, who had been with the company for eleven years, declared, “I am sorry it has come to this, but despite negotiating with the company for the better part of a decade, my pleas for long-term regular employment with full benefits have fallen on deaf ears. I therefore have no other recourse than going to the courts.”
Tanmantiong says that his tenure at the company–a closely guarded secret up to now–has been an endless succession of five-month contracts, always falling short of the six-month-long employment that would make him a regular employee with full benefits such as paid leave, SSS contributions, 13th-month pay, and the ability to take home unsold Chickenjoy and Yumburgers.
Worker contractualization has long been a contentious issue in many Philippine companies like fast-food giant Jollibee, where workers are given consecutive and indefinite five-month contracts, preventing them from being regular employees with full benefits.
It is estimated that a staggering 98% of Jollibee workers are contractual, but it was not known until now that the problem goes to the very top of upper-management.
It is now even plausible that Tony Tan Caktiong, the Jollibee founder himself, has worked as founder of the company on a contractual basis.
Among the litany of grievances Tanmationg outlined: going on a month-long company-expense European tour with his family but not getting paid leave; missing out on 4.7 million pesos a year because he doesn’t get his 13th-month pay; surreptitiously sneaking buckets of Chickenjoy through the back door because contractual workers are not permitted to take the day’s unsold inventory.
“I sympathize with the suffering of every contractual Jollibee employee toiling in our stores day after day,” maintains the aggrieved executive. “The insecurity of employment, the lack of paid leave, no 13th-month pay–I totally feel their pain. No Jollibee employee, including myself, should endure these kinds of indignities.”
“This fight is for all Jollibee workers everywhere who have been deprived of their lawful rights. The injustices of worker contractualization should end right now, starting with myself!” declared Tanmantiong to a round of applause from the gathered reporters, who were later treated with trays of mouth-watering Jolly Spaghetti and plied with buckets of crispy Chickenjoy to go.