Labor Watch: The gratitude of the workers
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has
cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer
The workers are fortunate that by their united strength they have a true workers’ union. Especially when their labor center is dedicated to their continued fight for the welfare of the workers not only in their workplace but for all the workers in the country. And, they are much more fortunate to have a good labor lawyer who is one of them and selflessly works with them to collectively achieve their goals as a union that is part of the labor center.
The workers confined to the daily rigors of pursuing their livelihood can be so fortunate to have a friend to explain and illustrate the workings of the capitalist system that treats them, the workers, as mere instruments in the generation of huge profits, and therefore exempted from the welfare afforded by huge profits earned by the whole company. A friend who unselfishly shares educated insights to management systems that rightfully points out human involvement in production must be cared for and therefore respected in the negotiation for a just share of the profits in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) proposals.
An ordinary lawyer would rather busy himself with getting rich and there are some labor attorneys now big time politicians who have sold the workers rights in CBA negotiations for a hefty reward from the company. And, where can you find a labor attorney who is not racing to get 10% or more for himself whether the CBA negotiations he leads succeeds or not.
The real workers’ lawyers are seen to spend more time at researching and studying on how to make the bargaining power of the workers stronger. Even missing his meals he racks his brains burning the midnight oil to ensure he and the union will be better equipped with appropriate data before sitting at the negotiating table. He is with a labor center guided by principles of serving the workers and the rest of the people. A labor center and not a profit oriented organization also entitled to the fruits of a successful CBA, and the protection of its constituents. And, the gracious union officers are obliged to lead their constituents do their part to strengthen their labor center and support their labor lawyer with the next step of the struggle in mind – to see that the provisions of their CBA are respected and delivered, especially by the company they work with.
Also these union officers in the same degree or more of loyalty and trust their lawyer shared with them in their time of need; are obliged to see to it that the company pays their labor lawyer the agreed fees and percentages due him and provided for by CBA negotiation practices without charge to the union or the workers.
In a yellow union, officers and their attorneys and whatever do not negotiate, argue or debate with the management, all they have in mind is to finish the negotiations as early as possible to get the signing bonuses and get a big percentage from the wage hikes of the workers. And never mind if the content of the CBA is bad, especially where the workers’ security of tenure and other labor rights are not protected.
And for the information of all concerned and interested parties, true to his profession, this labor center’s attorney charged his clients only after the case is won, and as always, he gets his payments and percentage at the expense of the company and not the worker. “Sa’n ka pa?”.
This good attorney instead of getting mad still with feet-on-the-ground attitude told his companions to explain to the workers why the center collects a percentage for the legal assistance they have provided the union. And he said maybe the workers did not understand why they are being charged, so they deserve to be enlightened on the issue. Again. “Sa’n ka pa?” # nordis.net