Solon bats for comprehensive review of Labor Code

Published by rudy Date posted on May 2, 2011

CEBU, May 2 (PIA)– Labor groups in Central Visayas were frustrated after being told that government can only offer non-wage benefits in time for the May 01 Labor Day.

Veteran labor leader, Democrito Mendoza, president of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), in an interview with Sun Star-Cebu declared that contracting and outsourcing labor are serious threats to workers.

Mendoza added, there is widespread outsourcing of regular jobs, relentless attacks against job security, trampling of internationally accepted labor standards, trade liberalization and ‘contractuals’ are big problems of the labor sector.

Senator Chiz Escudero in a radio interview on the other hand commented that the clamor for wage increase has also been a constant for almost a decade now and the average asking rate has not changed much, standing at P125.

The senator said, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive review of the labor code to amend certain provisions that will improve the economic and social benefits and protection of workers.

“Government should pursue these in the absence of a wage increase,” Escudero added.

According to some labor leaders, the labor code has been modeled in the 70’s and some, if not most of the provisions may already be outdated.

Escudero said a thorough review of the labor code will enable the government, the labor force and the private sector to leverage among one another in addressing the pressing issue of wage increase vis-à-vis the rising cost of living and specific issues of all the sectors concerned.

Among the provisions that should be revisited are the restructuring of the visitorial and enforcement powers of the labor secretary to ensure due process as well as allow self-regulation and inspection in the workplace.

Other provisions that need review are on the issue of allowing exceptions to night work prohibition for women to address the concerns of BPOs, and inclusion of gross inefficiency and poor performance as a just cause for dismissal.

Employers and labor need long-term solutions that are acceptable to both. A review of the Labor Code is an example of a long-term solution.

Escudero further noted that there should come a time when wage increases are responsive and not because they have become an annual tradition come Labor Day. (PIA-7/MBCN)

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