Use LMC to do plant-level convergence to address decent work deficits–Baldoz urges labor, management, and social partners

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz had called on labor and management, as well as the DOLE’s social partners, to actively join and participate in ‘public-private, plant-level convergence’, using labor-management cooperation, to address decent work deficits, foster harmonious labor-management relationships, and sustain growth, productivity, competitiveness, and industrial peace.

In a message at the Southern Tagalog Region-Labor-Management Cooperation Association, Inc.’s 9th Regional Convention on Labor Management Cooperation held in Calamba City, Laguna, Baldoz said social dialogue is an effective vehicle to achieve labor-management harmony.

STAR-LMCAI President Madonna E. Dio, her organization’s officials and members; NCMB Region 4-A Director Estrella B. Rosal; Director Amor Aglibut; and other DOLE partners attended the event, which has for its theme, The Millennium LMC Direction:  Safety, Health, Environment, and Productivity Toward Industrial Peace.

Expressing pleasure that labor, management, and the social partners are living up to the principles of labor-management cooperation, Baldoz said:

“This is really the Asian way. We Asian Filipinos are used to our culture of social dialogue and cooperation. We are averse to conflict and we are not litigious because we know that generally, and in the long run, no one really wins in filing cases after cases.”

Baldoz noted that fostering a culture of social dialogue through labor-management cooperation opens up great opportunities for enterprise growth and harmony in the workplace.

“Labor-management cooperation builds strong foundation for industrial peace. However, this can only be achieved if efforts to attain business growth are complemented by efforts to provide for workers’ well-being and welfare, such that they are not paid wages that are too low, or exposed to unsafe and unhealthy workplaces, or not engaged using the so- called ‘5-5-5’ work arrangement,” she said.

“I call on you to revolutionize LMC as an effective instrument; not only as a first line of intervention in dispute resolution, but also as a mechanism for harmonious work relations because labor laws are correctly enforced and the advocacy for the general well-being of workers and of their families as partners of business growth and competitiveness are sincerely practiced,” she added.

In her message, Baldoz emphatically said LMCs are not anti-union. “LMCs and unions can live side by side inside our factories. If we revolutionize the concept of LMC, it can very well provide added benefits to workers and business owners.”

Under the private-public plant-level convergence that Baldoz envisions, all DOLE programs and services will be converged to transform plant-level LMC into effective structures, so there would be no need for ‘sub-committees’ that implement disparate but related programs on productivity, occupational safety and health, family welfare, grievance, and most importantly, the plant-level bipartite compliance committee mandated to conduct joint assessment and OSH investigation under the DOLE’s new Labor Standards Enforcement Framework, the Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS).

Baldoz said LMCs must receive technical assistance to capacitate companies to comply with labor standards and OSH requirements. “This is part of our reforms. The DOLE’s approach is now developmental, that’s why if you are ready to accept our challenge, we, too, are ready to provide you with appropriate technical assistance, such as productivity improvement,” she said.

“Our technical assistance on productivity is already available to LMCs. Since 2013, the NCMB and NWPC have converged, in recognition of the interrelation of LMC and productivity. This has resulted to 34 LMCs in companies with existing NWPC-initiated PIPs, while 37 existing NCMB LMCs were strengthened. This year, 163 LMCs were strengthened with PIPs,” Baldoz elaborated.

Baldoz said the plant-level convergence is expected to result to (1) improved labor productivity; (2) increased number of minimum wage earners receiving productivity-based incentives pay; and (3) increased number of CBAs in companies with LMCs with performance and productivity-based wage increases or benefits.

She instructed the NCMB to design and formulate programs for workers’ participation and productivity through LMC and the DOLE regional directors to devise a method to measure productivity and how to share the gains there from.

Explaining that occupational safety and health in the workplace is one of the basic requisites of a successful productivity improvement scheme, Baldoz said the NCMB, Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), and Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) must bring their collaboration into the LMCs.

The OSHC spearheads the DOLE’s Zero Accident Program, or ZAP, which uses a systematic approach to minimize, if not eradicate, safety and health problems in the workplace. On the other hand, the BWC enforces OSH compliance, as well as the observance of labor standards through the new LLCS, while the ECC facilitates the provision of compensation benefits for work-related sickness, injury, disability, or death.

“I have high hopes that before I bow out of public service in 2016, the DOLE has already set in motion the formulation by companies, especially by micro, small and medium enterprises, of their own productivity goals and programs to achieve them through LMC,” Baldoz concluded. END

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