Ceres bus union leaders worried by Yanson feud

UNION leaders of Vallacar Transit Inc, operator of Ceres Bus lines in the country, fear for the economic effects of the squabble within Yanson clan. (Dolly Yasa)

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Labor union leaders of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), operator of Ceres bus lines, on July 11, 2019 expressed support to the Yanson matriarch, Olivia, and recognized her youngest son Leo Rey Yanson as President and CEO of the company.

They also urged Roy Yanson, the eldest of the Yanson brood who “ousted” Leo Rey on Sunday, to step down.

In a press conference Thursday, the union leaders also said that employees of the multi-million transportation company are starting to question the effects of the tug-of-war between Olivia, Leo Rey, and his sister Ginette on one side and Roy, Emily and Celina on the other.

The union leaders are led by Hernane Braza, national president of the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (PACIWU-TUCP); and Jose B. Ares, founder and administrator of the Mindanao Alliance of Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (MALTU).

Ares said they are asking Roy “to do the heroic act to step down for the sake of peace, for the sake of the thousands of employees of VTI all over the country, for the reconciliation of the family.”

Ares said Roy must also step down for the sake of their mother Olivia “who may not have many more years to live and for the sake of the memory of their father, Ricardo Sr., who, together with their mother, installed Leo Rey as president and CEO of the company.”

“I am sad to see that children disobey their parents,” Ares said.

He said he could still remember the message of the Yanson patriarch, that what is important is that the VTI employees are happy and there is peace and happiness in the family.

Ares, who is in charge of the Mindanao operations of VTI, said employees in Mindanao are plagued with anxiety and they worry about their future. They also fret over their salaries which might be affected by the squabble.

Braza said he has been receiving reports of harassments of employees because of the continued loyalty check targeting workers who side with Leo Rey.

Braza appealed to Roy’s group to stop harassing the employees as they would not hesitate to take legal action.

He also said that they are recognizing Leo Rey as the legitimate President and CEO and also questioned the manner by which he was replaced by Roy.

Braza said VTI’s management improved under the stewardship of Leo Rey citing the expansion of the bus fleet all over the country.

In terms of employees’ benefits and rights, Leo Rey afforded what is due to the employees.

“The employees are happy with him and OVY (Olivia V. Yanson),” Braza said.

Braza expressed apprehension that if the row is not resolved, it will result in serious economic crisis considering VTI’s network all over the country.

In a joint statement, the PACIWU-TUCP and PACIWU VTI chapter said that “we hereby bestow our unqualified support to the status quo administration of Mr. Leo Rey Yanson as the President of Vallacar Transit Inc. or Yanson Groups of Bus Company (YGBC) and or Mrs. Olivia Yanson pending the final determination of the case in court, or any possible amicable settlement that may be voluntarily agreed upon by the Yanson family.”

It added that “as long-time partner of the company, we are respectfully appealing to other members of the Board of Directors of Vallacar Transit and the Yanson Groups and Bus Company to please cease and desist from using force or any abrupt takeover of the management or administration of these companies, which will create a tension of confusion and disturbance of industrial peace among the hearts and minds of the union members, because in effect, it will cause losses to both of us.”

“At this juncture, until the Final Resolution of the matter, our union members and employees of the company shall comply with the orders and directives of the Status Quo administration,” the statement added.

“The union is now appealing from the Board of Directors of Vallacar Transit Inc. and the Yanson Group and Bus Company to most respectfully suggest, from each of you particularly our beloved Mrs. Olivia V. Yanson to settle this serious concerns among yourselves before union members can feel hopelessness of working in an environment of confusion.”