POLOMOLOK, South Cotabato, Philippines – March 8, 2011 – Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOLE) today announced that the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines has proclaimed the results of the February 22, 2011 trade union Certification Election held at Dolefil, a Dole operating subsidiary in the Philippines.
Over 97% of Dolefil’s 3,876 registered voters participated in the secret ballot election. Of these voters, 75% decided to elect LEAD.PH, as the new union, while AK-NAFLU-KMU, which had represented Dolefil’s workers since 2001, received less than 25% of the votes. On the basis of the election results, LEAD.PH was certified by the Department of Labor and Employment as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent.
“Dolefil maintained a tradition of working with unions since the beginning of our operations in 1963. This culture is embedded in the Company’s union-shop clause. As Dolefil has always done in the past, we will recognize and engage in negotiations with the new democratically elected union leadership towards the signing of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement”, said Simon Denye, Vice President and Managing Director at Dolefil. “We would like to thank the Department of Labor and Employment for ensuring the conduct of a clean, orderly, and peaceful election reflective of the true sentiments of the workers,” he added.
The February 22, 2011 Certification Election confirms the results of a Union General Assembly held on February 13, 2010. At that time, over 70% of Dolefil’s workers had voted to replace the leadership of AK-NAFLU-KMU and elected a new set of officers.
The conduct of last year’s General Assembly was then challenged and created an intra-union dispute regarding legitimacy for workers’ representation, to which the February 22, 2011 Certification Election gives a clear answer.
About Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas and producer/shipper of organic pineapples. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.