TUCP/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in the Philippines

JILAF, together with the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), held an industrial relations and labour policy seminar in Manila on May 17–18 on the theme of “The Realization of Decent Work/Toward the Building of Constructive Industrial Relations.” The seminar, which was the first such seminar to be held anywhere in the current fiscal year, was attended by about 90 people involved in labour affairs, including TUCP President Ruben Torres, Director Teresita Audea of the Manila regional office of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and First Secretary Hiroyuki Enoki of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines.
In the seminar, as well as lectures by JILAF on “The Role and Issues of Trade Unions” (Executive Director Takao Yasunaga) and “Building of the Next Stage: The Response of Trade Unions” (Research and Information Service Group Leader Futoshi Suenaga), TUCP officials and outside speakers gave talks on such topics as “Industrial Relations in the Philippines,” “The Present Situation and Issues Relating to the Industrial Relations System,” “Issues and Countermeasures Relating to Industrial Relations in Business Process Outsourcing,” “The TUCP’s Industrial Relations and Employment Policies,” and “The Present Situation Concerning the Transition from Informal-Sector Employment to Formal Employment,” which provided an opportunity for the participants to think about the causes of industrial disputes and ways to solve them.
The main causes of industrial disputes in the Philippines include (1) unfair labour practices (unfair dismissal, denial of collective bargaining rights, etc.), (2) the government’s negative attitude toward compliance with labour-related legislation, and (3) contract employment problems. In light of the present situation characterized by (1) disputes over trade union recognition and in particular the unfair labour practices seen in Japanese companies operating in the Philippines, (2) disputes relating to contract employment, and (3) the scrapping of labour-management agreements, the participants voiced many opinions and requests relating to the need for organization, use of mediation bodies, and so on.
In response, JILAF Executive Director Yasunaga stressed the importance of labour and management endeavoring to achieve mutual understanding on a daily basis and explained that Japanese-style industrial relations (characterized by a balance between cooperation through labour-management consultations and confrontation through collective bargaining) would be useful for the stabilization of industrial relations in Asian countries, including industrial relations in multinational companies. Furthermore, JILAF Executive Director Yasunaga stated, “While there are employers even in Japan who, based on misunderstanding, dislike the formation of trade unions, there are actually many employers who think positively about the existence of trade unions because they help to build relations of trust with management and think together about the management of the company. Many personnel stationed overseas have a poor understanding of labour affairs, and that is a loss for both sides. We must continue to address these matters back in Japan as well.” Mr. Jing Ogalinda, head of the TUCP’s Department of Financial Affairs, then closed the seminar by saying, “I want you to take back what you have learned and spread it in your workplaces.”
On May 19, the day after the seminar, discussions were held with the representatives of three organizations that, although they did not participate in the seminar, are national centers in the Philippines and are affiliated with the International Trade Union Confederation. JILAF explained the content and achievements of the two-day seminar and heard about the present situation and issues of those organizations relating to the main theme of the seminar.

Schedule

DateContents
05/17TueIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar (day 1)
05/18WedIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar (day 2)

Photos of Participants

Address by TUCP President Torres

Address by First Secretary Enoki of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines

Closing ceremony