The National Conciliation and Mediation Board headed by officer-in-charge Executive Director Shirley Pascual yesterday reported to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz that the NCMB, an attached agency of the DOLE, disposed 74 percent, or 138, of the total 187 notices of strikes/lockouts it handled in September this year, of which 71 percent, or 132 cases, were through settlement, or a success rate of 98.4 percent.
In her report, Director Pascual said the NCMB disposed 85 percent, or 341, of the 401 preventive mediation cases in the same month, of which 81 percent, or 324 cases, were through settlement, or a success rate of 100 percent.
“The performance of the NCMB in disposing NS/L and PM cases through settlement is commendable,” Baldoz commented.
“The NCMB did this through the provision of timely, efficient, and effective conciliation-mediation services to parties involved in potential or brewing labor disputes,” Baldoz added.
In September, the NCMB handled a total of 187 cases involving notices of strikes/lockouts, including 32 cases carried over from the previous months, and 401 preventive mediation cases, including 42 cases pending at the start of the month.
Director Pascual said that the 187 NS/L cases involved 28,686 workers, a decrease of 22 percent over the 36,846 workers involved in 163 NS/L cases during the same month of 2014.
“On the other hand, of the 359 PM cases filed in September which constitute the bulk of the 401, only four cases were actually determined to be preventive mediation cases. The 401 PM cases involved 83,382 workers, 20 percent less than the 103,821 workers involved in the 393 PM cases handled during September of 2014,” she said.
At the end of September, there were only 49 NS/L cases and only 60 PM cases remaining and these are subject of on-going conciliation and mediation.
As a result of the NCMB’s conciliation-mediation work, the country remained strike-free in September.
“There were actually four notices of strike filed in September, but we disposed all of them through settlement. The four NOS involved 650 workers and 2,320 mandays lost.
Also during the month, the NCMB received 4,347 requests for assistance (RFA) and handled 4,590, including 243 RFA pending at the start of the month. The 4,590 RFA involved 5,281 workers. Of the total number of RFA, it disposed 3,023, or a disposition rate of 88 percent. Of those RFA disposed, it settled 2,536, or a settlement rate of 47 percent.
“Ten of the RFA disposed were referred to voluntary arbitration; 265 to compulsory arbitration, and four to concerned DOLE offices. Also disposed were 208 RFA due to the parties’ lack of interest,” Director Pascual said further in her report.
At the end of the month, we only had 425 RFA pending. It took us only 18 days to settle an RFA,” she added.
Baldoz expressed confidence in the continuous implementation of DOLE reforms on labor arbitration and adjudication as mechanism to avert any labor dispute that would affect the country’s sound and productive labor-management relations atmosphere.
“The continuous effort to maintain industrial peace reflects the efficiency of our proactive and preventive reform mechanisms in preventing incidence of work stoppages to ensure a peaceful labor front. This was borne out of our thrust to restore integrity and fairness in the labor arbitration system,” said Baldoz.