15 June 2018 — “HIGHER WAGES, NO MORE ENDO, MORE PARTICIPATION, NO GBV, END INEQUALITY!” were the recurring themes in the National Trade Union Conferences on Employment Security and Constructive Industrial Relations with the theme: “Promoting Real Inclusive and Sustainable Growth, Employment and Decent Work” held in Quezon City on 9-10 May 2018 and in Laguna on 12-13 May 2018.
Unions also called for:
a) Better labor inspection, with union representation; training of more union members in inspection; annual inspections; inclusion of schools as priority of inspection;
(b) Stronger and wider labor education and information dissemination on law and regulations, not only for workers but also for employers and labor officials;
(c) Trade unions need to prepare for the future of work, new employment relations and new organizing techniques;
(d) Advocacy for labor law in the curriculum, review of the education curriculum of K + 12;
(e) More active union programs and activities on Climate change, Green jobs, Sustainable development and Just transition;
(f) Campaign for genuine labor representation in tripartite agencies and stronger presence in agencies where labor is still properly represented;
(g) Better use of social media, print and networking in information dissemination and labor campaigns;
(h) Cooperation with JILAF and JTUC-RENGO on more capacity-building programs, including for women and youth, campaign against contractuals, union organizing, especially in Japanese multinational enterprises in the Philippines.
The 97 participants, 32% women, represented national trade unions, unions in Japanese manufacturing enterprises in special economic zones and other unions inside and outside the zones from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The conference provided a venue to discuss important concerns, issues, challenges, and experiences in TUCP 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 NAOHIRO TSUJI (Manila/Laguna conference); (2) “The Future of Work, In Search of Union Response” by TUCP President RUBEN D. TORRE (Manila/Laguna conference); (3) “Industrial Relations in the Philippines: TUCP Perspective” by SMP-NATOW General Secretary MILAGROS OGALINDA, Manila conference and by TUCP General Secretary Emeritus CEDRIC R.BAGTAS, Laguna conference; (4)” Labor Market Realities and Developments in Industrial Relations” by BLR-DOLE Mediator-Arbitrator ATTY. RAMON SAURA III (Manila/Laguna conference); (5) “Recent Policy Developments on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms” by NCMB-DOLE Director CYNTHIA FONCARDAS (Laguna conference); (6) “The State of Labor Inspection & Labor Law Compliance System” by BWC-DOLE Director TERESITA CUCUECO, Manila conference and by BWC-DOLE Director NICANOR BON, Laguna conference;(7) “ Labor Relations in Special Economic Zones and BPO Industry” PEZA Presentation by FUR Vice President Arturo Basea, Manila conference and by TUCP General Secretary Emeritus CEDRIC R.BAGTAS, Laguna conference; (8) “Japanese Companies in EPZ” by TUCP General Secretary RODOLFO CAPOQUIAN, Manila and Laguna conference; (9)”BPO in EPZ” by VOICE President ANGELITA d. SEÑORIN, Manila conference and by LIKHA President JESUS B. VILLAMOR, Laguna conference; (10) “ Women and Youth Presentation” by TUCP Women Chair FLORENCIA CABATINGAN, Manila and Laguna conference; (11) “Industrial Relations and Employment Security in the Education Sector with K+12” by SMP-NATOW VP for Teaching ELMER NORIEGA, Laguna conference; by TOPPS Director WILMARK RAMOS, Laguna conference; (12)”Updates on Transitioning from Informal to Formal Employment” by ALLWIES President SUSANITA TESIORNA, Manila and Laguna conference; (13) “ Promoting Green/Sustainable Jobs and Productivity” by NWPC-DOLE OIC of the Productivity Policy, Research Division RICHARD VALENZUELA, Manila and Laguna conference.
Both TUCP President RUBEN TORRES and JILAF President HIROYUKI NAGUMO anchored their messages on the unquestionable power of National Trade Unions and the role they perform in social welfare and industrial relations. The Japanese labor attaché in the Philippines MANABU YASUKAWA cited the contributions of workers and trade unions in the Philippines’ strong economic standing.
JILAF President Nagumo’s interventions stressed that it would be best to have good relations with the management and have a positive dialogue. There are good, as well as bad, employers. It is better to have better communications than to focus on disputes. He emphasized that trust is the key to good union-employer relationship.
The representative of participants expressed appreciation for the conferences, and pledged that they will bring unionism to unorganized companies, and wished long live to workers, JILAF and all.