Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in the Philippines

Address by JILAF President Hiroyuki Nagumo at the opening ceremony (Quezon)

JILAF, together with the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), held industrial relations and labour policy seminars in Quezon on May 9–10 and the province of Laguna on May 12–13. The seminars were attended by about 100 related persons.

In the seminars, opening addresses were made by TUCP President Ruben D Torres, JILAF President Hiroyuki Nagumo, and First Secretary Manabu Yasukawa of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, after which JILAF and the TUCP explained their understanding of the present state of industrial relations and issues in their respective countries. Regarding Japan’s constructive industrial relations, JILAF Field Projects Group Director Naohiro Tsuji delivered a lecture titled “The Role of Japanese Trade Unions and Issues,” in which he outlined their history, organizational structure, and activities, such as the annual spring labour offensive and labour-management consultations. He also gave a general explanation of trade union demands to the government and employers toward the realization of policies.

  In a presentation on the future of work, meanwhile, TUCP President Torres emphasized the need for workers and trade unions to begin making preparations to respond to changes in the industrial structure being brought about by the progress of information technology and other factors.

In response, the participants asked questions and stated their views regarding such matters as clarity in the use of union dues and accounting and the involvement of trade unions with politics and political parties. JILAF President Nagumo gave pertinent replies. In particular, he stressed the importance of trade unions gaining trust not only from employers but also from trade union members and society at large.

In a session on industrial relations, regarding the labour situation in the Philippines, the TUCP explained that while poverty and income gaps were increasing in that country, employers often obstructed trade unions. The TUCP introduced its activities to address these issues and appealed for further solidarity. Three officials attending from the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment gave an outline of the labour market in that country and explained the role of third-party dialogue in that context and the single-entry approach (SEnA) system, which gives more consideration to the standpoint of workers than other methods of resolving industrial disputes. (This voluntary system calls for a 30-day mandatory conciliation and mediation procedure before a dispute reaches a labour tribunal.) They also explained the labour law inspectorate system and the inspector training course in response to the shortage of inspectors. Many participants said that they would like to take the course and participate in inspections.

On the second day, there were reports on the current state of industrial relations in special export zones, the business process outsourcing industry, and the educational sector; the switch from nonregular to regular status; and the social participation of women and youth and equal opportunities. It was emphasized that trade unions needed to be active and also that green jobs should be promoted as they lead to decent work and productivity improvement.
After completion of all the presentations and discussions, the participants divided into groups to discuss and then present action plans identifying the important matters that they had learned through the seminar and how they were going to address them.

Finally, JILAF President Nagumo stressed the importance of trade unions having a mission and trade union leaders engaging in self-education, urged participants to foster the network that they had created during the seminar, and encouraged them to take the initiative, closing his speech by expressing his hope for their activities in the future. In response, TUCP President Torres urged the need for solidarity, because trade union activities cannot be conducted by individuals alone, and said that the TUCP wanted to build especially good relations with Japanese companies, which are relatively friendly, and to nurture collaboration with JILAF and RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation). The seminar closed with TUCP President Torres encouraging the participants to continue to make challenges as leaders and expressing his hope for their future activities.

Schedule

DateContents
05/09WedSeminar day 1 (Venue: Quezon)
05/10ThuSeminar day 2 (Venue: Quezon)
05/11FriSeminar day 1 (Venue: Laguna)
05/12SatSeminar day 2 (Venue: Laguna)

Photos of the Participants

JILAF lecture on “The Role of Japanese Trade Unions and Issues” (Laguna)

JILAF lecture on “The Role of Japanese Trade Unions and Issues” (Laguna)

Address by TUCP President Torres at the closing ceremony (Laguna)

Questions and answers (Quezon)

Group photo of participants (Quezon)

Group photo of participants (Laguna)

Group discussions (Laguna)

Presentation of discussion results (Laguna)

Awarding of seminar completion certificates (Laguna)