LIVING WAGES, REAL END TO ENDO, MORE PARTICIPATION, NO GBV, A DECENT FUTURE OF WORK, END INEQUALITY!
15 June 2019 — “LIVING WAGES, REAL END TO ENDO, MORE PARTICIPATION, NO GBV, A DECENT FUTURE OF WORK, END INEQUALITY!” were the resounding themes in the National Trade Union Seminars on Employment Security and Constructive Industrial Relations with the theme: “ ensuring Inclusive Growth Through Sustainable Employment and Decent Work” held in Quezon City on 28-29 May 2019 and in Subic on 31 May–1 June 2019.
Unions renewed calls for:
(a) Campaign for living wages, rather than just minimum wages, starting with P750 minimum wage levels;
(b) Trade union representations in discussion of rules and regulations on security of tenure, and JOs (job orders) and COs;
(c) More participation for workers, women and youth in trade unions and the economy; bringing social protection to informals; and continued activities for enterprise-level mechanisms against GBV;
(d) Better labor education and information dissemination on law and regulations, including new laws on Expanded maternity leave, HIV and AIDS, Occupational safety and health, Social security and unemployment insurance, Telecommuting; Universal health care, Tulong Trabaho;
(e) Better labor inspection, with union representation; training of more union members in inspection and their actual fielding; annual random inspections; inclusion of schools as priority of inspection;
(f) Massive programs to prepare for the future of work, new employment relations and new organizing techniques;
(g) Continued advocacy for labor law in the curriculum, review of the education curriculum of K + 12, addressing “missing issues” in implementation;
(h) More active union programs and activities (massive orientation and directed action) on Climate change, Green jobs, Sustainable development and Just transition;
(i) Campaign for genuine labor representation in tripartite agencies (national, regional, local) and stronger presence in agencies where labor is still properly represented;
(j) Better use of social media, print and networking in information dissemination, labor campaigns, and reporting/compiling FOA and CB violations in ecozones and BPOs;
(k) Cooperation with JILAF and JTUC-RENGO on more capacity-building programs, including for women and youth, re-echo to federations and local unions what have been learned and decided in the workshops, union organizing, especially in Japanese multinational enterprises in the Philippines.
The 91 participants in the two seminars, 35 women, 33 young unionists, represented eleven national trade unions and one associated union, unions in six Japanese manufacturing enterprises in special economic zones and other unions inside and outside the zones from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The workshops presented and discussed important concerns, issues, challenges, and experiences in NTUC Phl and its affiliates’ struggle for “Decent Work for All”: (1) “The Role and Themes of the Japanese Labor Movement” by JILAF Director, Field Projects Group TOSHIKAZU SAITO and JILAF Executive Director MASAYUKI SHIOTA; (2) “Industrial Relations in the Philippines: NTUC Phl Perspective” by NTUC Phl HGS CEDRIC BAGTAS; (3) “Labor Market Realities and Developments in Industrial Relations” by HGS CEDRIC BAGTAS; (4) “Recent Policy Developments on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms” by NCMB-DOLE NCMB-DOLE OIC Deputy Director TERESITA AUDEA and NCMB-DOLE Region 3 Director EDGAR AQUINO; (5) “The State of Labor Inspection and Labor Law Compliance” by BWC-DOLE Engr. MELANIE BANAYOS; (6) “The Future of Work” by ILO Manila representative DIANE RESPALL and NTUC Phl Training Team video collection; (7) Labor Relations in Special Economic Zones and BPO Industry” PEZA Presentation by HGS CEDRIC R.BAGTAS and TrT NATOW RONNEL USERO; (8) “Organizing Japanese Companies in EPZ” by HGS CEDRIC BAGTAS; (9)”BPO in EPZ” by HGS CEDRIC BAGTAS and TrT TOPPS REYMILY ROSE STA. ANA; (10) “ Women and Youth Presentation on Women Laws and GBV” by NTUC Phl Women Vice Chair FLORENCIA CABATINGAN; (11) “Industrial Relations and Employment Security in the Education Sector with K+12” NATOW Dr. JANETA NALUPA and TOPPS General Secretary MA. TERESA AGUSTIN; by TrT NATOW Youth RONNEL USERO and TrT TOPPS REYMILY ROSE STA. ANA; (12)”Updates on Transitioning from Informal to Formal Employment” by BWSC LEO II CYRUS POLICARPIO and TrT FLORENCIA CABATINGAN; (13) “ Promoting Green/Sustainable Jobs and Productivity and Climate Change and Just Transition” by NWPC-DOLE OIC of the Productivity Policy, Research Division, Atty. ALVIN CURADA and HGS Cedric Bagtas.
NTUC Phl Treasurer and NATOW General Secretary MILAGROS OGALINDA led the discussions on the Objectives of the workshops; the Conclusions and Recommendations from the 2018 workshops; and What have been accomplished from the 2018 Recommendations. Four workshop groups considered inputs from NTUC Phl and affiliates and recommended/pledged actions at the national and local levels on pending/new issues in 2019-2020, including local-level action on the targets for advocacy and activities.
NTUC Phl President RODOLFO CAPOQUIAN cited decades of cooperation with JILAF, which has allowed regular gathering of union officers to discuss economic and labor issues with JILAF officials and participants, contributing to the building of unionists and organizations through the years.
JILAF Executive Director MASAYUKI SHIOTA and Director for Field Projects Group TOSHIKAZU SAITO anchored their messages on the role of interaction among JILAF, resource persons and participants in stable labor-management relations, strengthening democratic labor, improving workers conditions. Philippines has its strengths, including young population, which contribute to the economy, but also bring about disparity between rich and poor, environmental destruction, and youth unemployment They wish these workshops will led to early intervention in disputes which could result from unbalanced growth.
The First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines MANABU YASUKAWA cited the role of JILAF in disseminating insights on Japanese industrial relations which could give possible solutions to Philippine labor concerns. Over 1000 Japanese companies in the Philippines indicate that they look with favor on the quality of work and competencies of Filipinos.
The young women representatives of participants in the two seminars expressed appreciation for the workshops, that they learned many things, which they will share with others. They pledged to re-echo their learning in their local unions.