ILOILO CITY — Gel (not her real name) started working as an English tutor for mostly Korean students in 2011, valuing her work at Metro Korea Language Training Center Inc. (MKLTCI) in Barangay Dungon C, Mandurriao District.
While paid hourly, Gel can earn up to P15,000 per month with a full load.
After working for more than six years, she thought she had a stable job – until the tutors started to complain of unpaid benefits.
In July last year, several tutors requested the school to pay for unused leave credits.
The tutors were surprised when told by the company that they were ineligible for the incentive because they were “individual contractors.”
No copy of contract
Gel said they were made to sign a “contract” of employment in 2013 but were not given a copy.
Several tutors also questioned why the company did not withhold tax from their salaries before 2016.
Gel said they were made to sign blank papers in lieu of pay slips.
The tutors, who spoke to the Inquirer on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, submitted a complaint to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Western Visayas in October last year.
Aside from nonpayment of leave incentive and nonregularization of employees after six months of continued work, the tutors also complained of underpayment, no overtime pay, nonpayment of 13th month bonus and no holiday pay.
At least five employees had been suspended for a month and were eventually laid off since the complaint was filed.
Another tutor, Roel (not his real name), said he was even accused of “extortion” by the school.
The Inquirer sought comment from MKLTCI management, through Gascon Tingson Caballero Lastimoso Pagunsan Law Office which represents the company.
But an employee at the law office in Rosary Building on Iznart Street said the lawyers were all busy and asked the Inquirer to leave a number to be called.
The Inquirer followed up the request for an interview or statement when none of the lawyers called but was told none of the lawyers were available.
The DOLE regional office held three meetings between management and employee representatives — Oct. 23, Dec. 21 and Jan. 3.
It was set to release a compliance order as a result of the meetings.
DOLE officials, however, refused to reveal details of the order until it was signed by Johnson Cañete, DOLE Western Visayas chief.
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