Brainstorming in a two-day workshop on collective bargaining are workers’ and employers’ representatives, DOLE Regional Directors, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board Secretaries, and conciliator-mediators numbering 80 participants from across regions.
The Consultation-Workshop on Policy Reforms on Collective Bargaining was conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), on 28-29 January 2015 at the One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites, Tagaytay City.
“The consultation-workshop aims to generate policy inputs toward the development of a national policy on collective bargaining, taking off from the proposals during the previous National Consultative Forum on Collective Bargaining that was conducted last June 2014”, said Ms. Cerilyn Pastolero, ILO-Manila.
One of the highlights of the activity was the presentation by former DOLE Undersecretary and National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Chairman, Atty. Benedicto Bitonio, Jr. of a strategy paper mapping out the structure of trade unionism and collective bargaining in the Philippines, revealing gaps and identifying possible solutions to problems.
“We have to act now!”, exclaimed Atty. Bitonio as he emphasized the need to immediately address the continuous decline in trade unionism and collective bargaining in the Philippines.
Notable proposals to strengthen collective bargaining include exploring multi-employer bargaining along industry lines by making use of existing industry tripartite councils and voluntary codes of good practices, shortening CBA period to three years to adapt to flexibilities in economic and political conditions, and expanding CBA provisions to include productivity incentive schemes that would balance the interests of workers and employers.
In her closing remarks, Usec. Rebecca Chato, DOLE, noted the substantive outputs of the stakeholders and committed to conduct two (2) more rounds of the consultation-workshop to develop more concrete policy proposals that will transform collective bargaining in the country.