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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Alternative mechanism boosts settlement of industrial disputes

Efforts to facilitate settlement of industrial disputes and prevent strikes and lockouts gained headway as disputing labor and management resorted to less costly and more expeditious means of settling their disputes, the Department of Labor and Employment said.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque, citing a report from the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, said a total of 285 cases of disputing labor and management from January to July 15 this year resorted to preventive mediation to hasten the settlement of their disputes.

With mediation, disputing labor and management request the NCMB for conciliation in the settlement of their conflict, Roque said as he commended the board for its relentless efforts to promote PM and other modes of alternative dispute resolution.

DOLE chief also hailed the social partners for displaying maturity, saying their preference for ADR indicated their heightened awareness on the benefits of resolving disputes amicably and expeditiously.

“ADR is less costly and more expeditious as compared to compulsory arbitration which has proven to be adversarial, expensive and susceptible to delays, “Roque said adding that “ADR also facilitates dispute settlement and, thus, ensures labor and management harmony and continued productivity of workers.

NCMB report also showed that of the 285 PM cases filed 257 raised the issue of unfair labor practice. Deadlock in collective bargaining, mostly on economic issues, was raised in 23 cases. Five PM cases raised a combination of unfair labor practice and bargaining deadlock issues.
PM cases filed by independent unions reached 148 or 52 percent of the total 285 cases while cases filed by federated unions accounted for 48 percent. Trade Union Congress of the Philippines topped the list with 66 cases filed followed by Kilusang Mayo Uno with 34, Labor Advisory Consultative Council with 14, National Confederation of Labor with 11 cases, Lakas Manggagawa Labor Center with five cases, Buklod ng Manggagawang Pilipino with four, and Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang Pilipino with three.

It took an average of 29 days to settle a PM case this year.

Monetary benefits as a result of settlement of collective bargaining negotiations through PM reached P93 million benefiting 527 workers during the period. Monetary benefits resulting from the resolution of PM cases which raised unfair labor practice amounted to P297 million benefiting 9,582 workers.

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