BUILDING COMPANY MECHANISMS AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (GBV) TARGETED BY NTUC Phl AFFILIATES

Published by NTUCPHL Date posted on June 17, 2019

14 December 2018 — Participants in the National Trade Union Center (NTUC Philippines) tripartite culmination activity on “Strengthening the Campaign for an ILO Convention and Planning Enterprise Level Campaigns on GBV in the World of Work” in Quezon City on 14 December 2018, reported on successes in the GBV campaign at the international and national levels and pledged to push wide-ranging activities against gender-based violence (GBV) in enterprises. [Read more.]

The ITUC-AP Philippine Steering Committee (PSC) on GBV at the Workplace had implemented in 2017-2018 a joint campaign in preparation and support for worldwide action for the adoption of an ILO Convention and Recommendation on GBV in the World of Work. The second discussion on the proposed Convention will take place at the International Labor Conference in June 2019.
The activity was the third in a series in Part 2 of this joint campaign to (1) strengthen the campaign in preparation for the June 2019 ILC discussions and voting on GBV, (2) to engage employers and government to ensure that they support the appropriate ILO instrument, to ratify the same, and (3) to initiate and sustain activities at the enterprise level to prevent GBV at work and extend services to GBV victims. The joint one-day review and planning program for leaders and advocates for the three affiliates was done in 23 October 2018. The NTUC Phl planning activity was conducted in 21 Novmber 2018.
There were 42 participants (11 women, 31 men) from fourteen federations and five resource/facilitation persons (two women, three men) in the workshop. ITUC AP Director for Women Anna Lee Fos-Tuvera, PSC Chair and TUCP/NTUC Phl Women Chair Florencia Cabatingan, Honorary NTUC Phl General Secretary Cedric Bagtas facilitated the one-day program. Mr. Jesse Rebustillo from employers and ILAB/DOLE Labor & Employment Officer Carl Ernest Andres were resource persons.
The NTUC Campaign/ILO Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work – What we have done? What else needs to be done?
The workshop reviewed what have been done under earlier activities of the joint campaign. The Philippine government had changed its position from an ILO Recommendation to an ILO Convention accompanied by a Recommendation in the June 2018 International Labor Conference with trade union representations, and has to be held fast to its position. Philippine employers remain in the sidelines.
There were Group Work discussions on — (1) Enterprise level campaign plans in support of an ILO Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment Against Women and Men in the World of Work; and (2) Developing enterprise-level plans and activities for tracking harassment and violence at work and support victims:
1. On Strengthening the campaign for an ILO Convention, accompanied by a Recommendation
Participants reiterated the need for information dissemination and awareness programs for a successful campaign for (1) Engaging enterprises and unions, (2) Engaging family, friends, (3) Engaging the community (Engaging the public).
Traditional media, broadsheets, radio, TV, need to be better engaged in the campaign;they have wider reach than social media which are limited to one’s ‘friends’.
Social media, chat groups, are good for like-minded groups and have apps (applications) which could be tapped for calls to action.
Participants stressed activities for effective implementation: Simplifying GBV materials; using appropriate among many GBV videos; summarized GBV research and reports for better appreciation by different kinds of audience, including workers and union members; GBV forums for directed dissemination of information; an inventory of gender laws, regulations, issuances, and ordinances for parallel advocacy and campaigns even without a Convention or even prior to ratification.
Advocacy for inclusion of questions regarding GBV at work in the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) inspection checklist will be pursued.
Participants welcomed the introduction of an NTUC Phl training team for various GBV programs.
2. Following up on enterprise-level plans and activities for tracking harassment and violence at work and support victims
There are existing mechanisms in enterprises which could be used for GBV at work interventions: CODIs (vs. sexual harassment), Safety and health committees, Labor-management consultations/committees, Grievance mechanism in the CBA (collective agreements), Town hall meeting, Anti-bullying mechanism (in schools).
These could be tapped or adapted and modified or negotiated in partnership with high-level officers or HR (human resources) offices of enterprises. Joint work is preferably better expressed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
MOAs could (1) contain GBV activities as part of company services (prevention; medical, counseling, psychological; support, including financial; legal assitance), funded activities, on official time; (2) agreement on next steps towards a company manual of procedure for preventive actions and for instances when a victim reports and seeks help; (3) provide suggested actions for first responders – line/team leaders, shop stewards, officers.
The informal PMAP resource person intimated that, regardless what unions think, HR officers really do not know everything that happens in companies and with workers. He said the TUCP/NTUC Phl presentation on GBV incidence in the Philippines (the results of the ITUC AP Philippine affiliates survey) surprised those in the PMAP general assembly in 2016.
He suggested a workshop to identify “red flags” for detecting GBV to help HR and unions and workers in their actions and advocacy.
• Company mechanisms that could be developed for focused interventions, like (1) What prevention services; and (2) What assistance services for victims: (Medical services; Counseling, psychological services; Support, financial; Legal assistance, for victims).
The materials compiled for “A Compendium of Materials for the Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence in the Philippines” was introduced and widely used in the activity.
For Next Steps: Participants pledged to continue showing union support for the ILO Convention accompanied by a Recommendation, and to intensify enterprise-level activities for GBV mechanism.
NTUC Phl affiliates will conduct additional enterprise-level activities in January-April 2019.

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