There's Blood in Your Coffee

Monday, April 25, 2011

ILO Committee on Freedom of Association Reports in Case No. 2528

Committee on Freedom of Association
CASE NO. 2528
INTERIM REPORT
Complaint against the Government of the Philippines presented by Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center (KMU)

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1094. The Union of Filipro Employees (UFE–DFA–KMU) sent new allegations in communications dated 16 August and 3 September 2010.

B. The complainant’s new allegations
1098. By its communications dated 16 August and 3 September 2010, the UFE–DFA–KMU alleges continuing violation of trade union rights at the Nestlé-Philippines Cabuyao factory. According to the union, the Government, together with the enterprise‘s management created the Nestlé Cabuyao Workers Union (NCWU) to eliminate the UFE–DFA–KMU as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for the Cabuyao workers, to undermine the final and executory decision of the Supreme Court and to annihilate the retirement benefits as part of the negotiable issue in the collective agreement. It further indicates that in January 2010, the Court of Appeals of the Philippines affirmed the earlier decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), that the termination by the enterprise of more than 600 workers was legal and justified due to workers‘ defiance of the DOLE Secretary‘s Assumption of Jurisdiction Order. In April 2010, the Supreme Court dismissed the union‘s petition for review regarding the illegal dismissal case due to the lack of merit.

1099. The union further alleges that on 2 June 2010, at around 5.20 p.m., unidentified men gunned down a trade union leader in a crowded street in Barangay Caingin, Santa Rosa City, Laguna. Edward Panganiban, aged 27, died on the spot after sustaining 12 gunshot wounds. Mr Panganiban worked in Japanese-owned Takata Philippines Incorporated in Laguna Technopark Incorporated (LTI) and was elected secretary of the Independent Union Samahang Lakas ng Manggagawa sa Takata Philippines (SALAMAT–Independent).

1100. The UFE–DFA–KMU further question the composition of the Executive Committee of the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) and states that labour sector representatives on the TIPC are not real leaders of the working class.

C. The Government’s reply
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D. The Committee’s conclusions
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1110. The Committee notes, in particular, that the TIPC Monitoring Body was established in January 2010 as a monitoring body on the application of the international standards, in particular Convention No. 87. While the Committee notes the concern raised by the UFE–DFA–KMU as to the workers’ representation at this body, it notes, from the information provided by the Government and Resolution No. 2, concerning this case, adopted by the TIPC Monitoring Body on 25 June 2010, efforts made by the Government to involve the KMU, the complainant organization in this case. The Committee expects that the Government will continue to engage with the KMU in dealing with cases involving its members and leaders and requests to be kept informed in this respect.

1111. Welcoming the measures taken so far by the Government, the Committee requests it to continue to keep it informed of the steps taken and envisaged to ensure a climate of justice and security for trade unionists in the Philippines, and encourages the Government to develop a fully-fledged technical cooperation programme in this respect.

1125. The Committee further notes that by its communications dated 16 August and 3 September 2010, the UFE–DFA–KMU alleges continuing trade union rights violations at the Nestlé-Philippines Cabuyao factory. According to the union, the Government, together with the enterprise’s management created the NCWU to eliminate the UFE–DFA–KMU as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for the Cabuyao workers, to undermine the final and executory decision of the Supreme Court and to annihilate the retirement benefits as part of the negotiable issue in the collective agreement. It further indicates that in January 2010, the Court of Appeals of the Philippines affirmed the earlier decision of the NLRC that the termination by the enterprise of more than 600 workers was legal and justified due to workers’ defiance of the DOLE Secretary’s Assumption of Jurisdiction Order. In April 2010, the Supreme Court dismissed the union’s petition for review regarding the illegal dismissal case due to the lack of merit.

1127. The Committee urges the Government to respond to the allegation submitted by the UFE–DFA–KMU without delay. It further requests the Government to keep it informed on the outcome of the discussion of the abovementioned harassment cases by the TIPC Monitoring Body or of any other measures taken to facilitate the settlement of labour disputes and to indicate the progress made in ensuring the full and swift investigation of the alleged acts of harassment and intimidation. The Committee recalls that such measures should be undertaken following consultations with the most representative workers’ and employers’ organizations.

The Committee’s recommendations

1134. In the light of its foregoing interim conclusions, the Committee invites the Governing Body to approve the following recommendations:
(e) With regard to the alleged harassment and intimidation of trade union leaders and members affiliated to the KMU, the Committee urges the Government to respond to the allegation submitted by the UFE–DFA–KMU without delay and to keep it informed on the outcome of the discussion of the allegations of harassment and intimidation of trade union leaders and members affiliated to the KMU by the TIPC Monitoring Body or of any other measures taken to facilitate the settlement of labour disputes and to indicate the progress made in ensuring the full and swift investigation of the alleged acts of harassment and intimidation.

Decision on the eighth item on the agenda: 359th Report of the Committee on Freedom of Association

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The Governing Body took note of the introduction to the report of the Committee, contained in paragraphs 1–213, and adopted the recommendations made in paragraphs: ... 1134 (Case No. 2528: Philippines); ...

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