Press Releases
Is unionism still relevant? Tackling unionism in the new normal

With the pandemic spearheading a gradual shift to technology and leading to establishments needing less from conventional workers, it is fair to wonder if the days of unionism have passed and its relevancy curtailed by the ever-evolving economic landscape.

With unionism seemingly on the ropes and in line with the labor department’s goal of protecting workers and promoting their welfare, the DOLE RO2, through the leadership of Regional Director Joel M. Gonzales and Assistant Regional Director Jesus Elpidio B. Atal, Jr., conducted a hybrid capacity building training with the theme “Unionism and Tripartism in the New Normal” for 100 trade union officers and members in Sta. Ana, Cagayan on June 9-10, 2022. 

Central to the training was the discussion of Director Gonzales and Assistant Regional Director Atal, Jr. centering on the importance of unionism in the midst of its changing context in the Philippines, with unionism showing resilience by surviving turbulent times in the country. 

In his presentation entitled: "Unionism in the New Normal" , Assistant Regional Director Atal, Jr. explained that even though unionism has had its fair share of problems challenging its relevancy throughout history, especially now with the advent of technologies seemingly supplanting workers’ importance, it still is relevant.

Unionism is relevant today more than ever. There will always be a reason for its presence as long as there are exploited and repressed workers wanting to voice out their legitimate rights,” Assistant Regional Director Atal, Jr. said.

Director Gonzales meanwhile urged participants of the training to form an association of Region 02 trade unions especially in the new normal so a better labor and management working relationship is attained.

Unionism is important as this ensures that industrial peace is attained between employers and employees and to ensure a good working relationship between workers and management,” Director Gonzales said.

Director Gonzales and Assistant Regional Director Atal, Jr. also explained the importance of anticipating changes in the workplace so unions can come up with strategies to maintain and project unionism relevance.

In support to the discussions of the aforementioned, an overview on labor relations was discussed by Technical Support Services Division (TSSD) Chief Geraldine Labayani as well as a discussion on trade unionism-conflict resolution, grievance machinery and labor-management cooperation by Regional Conciliation and Mediation Board (RCMB) II Director Gil Caragayan.

Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 2 Board Secretary, Heidelwina Tarrosa also presented Wage Order No. RTWPB 02-21, presenting the guidelines for the new minimum wage rates in Region 02 while Atty. Mary Gladys Paguirigan presented Department Order No.40-03 Amending Rule XXII of the Implementing Rules of Book V of the Labor Code.

In order to further support unionism in the workplace, the regional office also presented the Online Union Registration System (OURS) by Senior Labor and Employment Officer Onofre James Mendoza.

Representatives from the ISELCO I-Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Kooperatiba (SAMAKO), the Isabela Coca-Cola Plant Sales Office Sales Force Union (ICCPSOSFU), and the CAGELCO II Employees Union also shared their best practices in maintaining Union and Management good working relationship so that they can be recorded and replicated by other unions for a better and healthier working relationship.

In support to workers’ wellness, a presentation on Strengthening Mental Health was also demonstrated by the Department of Health (DOH) through ZOOM platform. ### 

Directors Corner


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