Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the country continues to enjoy a peaceful and stable labor relations situation as it enters 2016 with the DOLE successfully maintaining a single-digit level of work stoppages remain in 2015.
“I commend our unions and our employer for their full-hearted cooperation that enabled the DOLE to achieve this feat,” said Baldoz. She said the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), an attached agency of the DOLE, in cooperation with organized labor and the country’s employers, has effectively maintained a peaceful industrial relations climate by keeping the incidence of work stoppages at single digit level in 2015,” said Baldoz during the DOLE’s Yearend Press Conference held at the Labor Governance Learning Center of the Ople Hall in Intramuros, Manila.
She said the peaceful and stable labor-management relations environment assured that existing jobs were preserved in keeping with President Aquino III’s marching order to the DOLE at the beginning of 2010.
Baldoz, citing a report from NCMB Executive Director Shirley M. Pascual, said the agency’s conciliation-mediation services have proven very effective in resolving labor disputes and in keeping the incidence of work stoppages at the barest minimum.
She added that the NCMB’s plant-level dispute resolution mechanisms, which assist workers and employers resolve labor disputes without third party intervention, are also instrumental in the industrial harmony that exists in the country’s workplaces today.
“The NCMB’s intensified effort in promoting workplace cooperation and partnership mechanisms kept the incidence of labor disputes within single digit levels. In turn, workers are now enjoying improved labor-management relations, increased productivity, and enhanced business competitiveness and profitability,” said Baldoz.
The labor chief said that as of 30 November 2015, only five work stoppages were declared nationwide, including a wildcat strike at Tanduay Distillers in Region IV-A. The four new strikes covered by notices comprised 1.8 percent of the 219 total notices of strike/lockouts handled during the period. Three of the five strikes occurred in Region IV-A, while two occurred in the NCR.
The good news, according to Baldoz, is that the NCMB disposed all of the five work stoppages handled through amicable settlement to achieve 100 percent disposition and settlement rate.
“The rest of the regions were strike- and lockout-free in 2015. This is because of the NCMB’s efficient workplace conflict prevention and settlement schemes, such as the grievance machineries, and workplace cooperation and partnership mechanisms,” said Baldoz.
During the same period, the Board handled 219 notices of strike/lockout cases and disposed 79 percent, or 173 cases. Of these 173 cases, 112 were disposed within the process cycle time of 45 days. The amicable settlement of the 75 percent or 165 out of 219 notices of strike/lockout resulted in the facilitation of P425 million monetary benefits granted to 4,539 workers.
The Board also handled 467 preventive mediation cases during the period, 89 percent, or 417, of which were disposed, a disposition rate of 89 percent. Out of 467 cases, 85 percent or 397 were settled. Monetary benefits amounting to P85 million benefitted some 1,649 workers.
In 2015, NCMB also provided 7,721 technical advisory services to 4,231 companies through bi-partite plant-level workplace cooperation and partnership mechanisms (LMCs) and labor dispute settlement mechanisms or grievance machineries (GMs) resulting to facilitation in the establishment of 264 LMCs; strengthening of 1,170 LMCs through the provision of skills training on negotiation, consultation, problem-solving, and corporate social responsibility. It also facilitated the operationalization of 40 grievance machinery in organized establishments; the institutionalization of 189 GMs in unorganized establishments; and enhancement of 1,141 existing GMs.
In 2015, NCMB also converged with the National Wages and Productivity Commission on productivity enhancement of companies using the LMC as an entry point, benefiting 730 companies. Its convergence with the Employees Compensation Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) benefited 762 companies, while its convergence with the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns on family welfare benefited 639 companies.
This year, the NCMB, in partnership with PHILAMCOP, successfully conducted the 10th LMC National Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Quezon City on 11-12 November 2015. During the Convention, the NCMB declared the winners of the 2015 Search for Outstanding LMC Awards for Industrial Peace and the 2015 Search for Enterprise-Based Dispute Resolution Practices.
In 2015, NCMB also achieved a 97 percent satisfactory service rating from its clients nationwide. During the period, 3,078 out of 3,850 respondents said they were very satisfied with the services provided by the Board.