The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) slammed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for justifying the “no jab, no work” and “no jab, no pay” policy.

In a recent interview with ANC, Bello said employers might “withhold salary” and even “fire employees” who are not fully vaccinated, based on the national Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines on opening establishments under Alert Level 3.   

TUCP called Bello’s statements “disgracefully irresponsible.” 

“Secretary Bello seems to be confused about basics in law or, worse, acting in careless disregard of the law,” the TUCP said.

“Why would a mere IATF resolution be superior to the Labor Code prohibition on non-payment of wages?”

The labor group alleged that Bello “overstretched” its application to justify “no jab, no work” and “no jab, no pay” schemes by companies. 

“The position of Secretary Bello is absolutely without legal basis and will now promote a rampant disregard for worker’s rights at a time when, the Secretary is aware, these workers and their rights are most vulnerable to violation.” 

Despite criticizing Bello’s statement, TUCP urged workers to voluntarily get Covid jabs to protect their family and fellow workers while stressing the lack of vaccines in some areas. 

“Let us not forget the main problem still confronting us is the lack of vaccine supply and the inability of workers to get vaccination slots,” the union said.  

However, early this week, Bello ordered employers imposing “no jab, no pay” policy to release withheld salaries of non-vaccinated workers, describing it as “illegal” and in “violation” of the Labor Code. Ryan Sorote