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“With the status of mining industries now, we don’t know where we are going. But our top officials are very positive that we will continue to survive.  Let us just do our tasks well. Let us  cooperate in our respective jobs and improve  our working relations. President Brown is very supportive with this LMC program. Let us work together because I believe that ISEMCO will keep us standing,”  Resident Manager Michael G. Tauli said.

Labor and management, represented by Mr. Samuel Soliweg and Engr. Michael G. Tauli  respectively, formally signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on March 2, 2017 at Villa Silvina Hotel, Baguio City.

The MOC  aims to strongly promote the workers’ welfare, improve their quality of work life and to  ensure harmonious employer-employee relationship.

The LMC is named as ISEMCO which stands for Itogon-Suyoc Employees and Management Cooperation. It is also an Ilocano term which means “my smile”. A miner named Walter Dongadong suggested the ISEMCO because he believes that  “Peace begins with a Smile”.

In November 2016, ISRI conducted a Certification Election (CE) but 70% of the voters were not in favor in the formation of a Union, LMC was better accepted by the employees.

The LMC mechanism of the company was established on February 7, 2017 through the interventions of the RCMB-CAR headed by Dir. Gil. G. Caragayan. The committees created were Family Welfare, Occupational Safety and Health, Productivity, Grievance, Labor Relations and Labor Laws Compliance.

To enhance the committees of their roles and programs in compliance with the mandates of the DOLE and attached agencies, the LMC convergence program was introduced on March 1-2.  Action plans were prepared and the teams vowed to cooperate and accomplish them in 1 year.

Itogon-Suyoc Resources Inc. is a subsidiary of Apex Mining Co. Inc., a company that produces gold, silver, copper, lead and other precious metals. Formerly known as Itogon-Suyoc Mining, Inc., ISRI started its operations in   July 2015. Dr. Walter Brown heads the mining company.

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Maggie B. Balagtey