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Friday, July 31, 2009

DOLE forms committee to hasten settlement of labor disputes



The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has set in place a mechanism to facilitate the settlement of all labor disputes and subsequently the delivery of labor justice and assistance to needy workers.


Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said a committee in charge of the DOLE speedy and efficient delivery of labor justice (DOLE SpeED) has been constituted to hasten the resolution of labor and employment disputes lodged at concerned DOLE regional offices, bureaus, and attached agencies.


Roque said the "DOLE SpeED Committee" is tasked to monitor case dispositions and make necessary interventions to ensure the speedy and efficient dispensation of labor justice and assistance to workers involved in these cases.


He said the committee would observe the Single Team approach and the use of conciliation-mediation as the first and preferential mode in the settlement of all labor and employment disputes to ensure speedy disposition of the cases.


The committee, he said, is chaired by the DOLE Undersecretary for labor relations with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) as vice-chair. 


Committee members include the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB), Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC), DOLE's Legal Service (LS) and Regional Offices in the National Capital Region, Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 4-A (Calabarzon), and 7 (Central Visayas).


Roque said the NCMB will act as the committee's overall secretariat.


Meanwhile, 7,622 workers received a total of P208.6 million in back wages and other benefits following settlement of labor disputes from January to June 2009. 


A report from NCMB showed that the labor disputes included 396 labor cases which were settled under the single entry approach (SENA) that benefitted 524 workers who received an economic package totaling P7.6 million.   


At the same time, collective bargaining deadlock settled by NCMB under preventive mediation benefitted 761 workers who received a total of P47.5 million in CBA benefits.  Another 379 workers received separation and restitution packages amounting to P9.5 million.


The NCMB also facilitated the settlement of CBA deadlock involving workers and companies which filed notices of strikes and lockouts with the board in the first six months of the year benefitting 5,254 workers who received a total of P134 million in CBA economic benefits.  Another 704 workers received a total of P10 million in separation and restitution packages


The NCMB also reported that it received a total of new 139 notices of strikes and lockouts (NS/L) since January to June this year, 29% lower than the 195 cases during the same period last year. The board disposed 127 NS/L cases that included cases pending at the end of 2008.

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