By ALDWIN QUITASOL
If there is to be peace in our industrial life let the employer recognize his obligation to his employees – at least to the degree set forth in existing statutes. — John L. Lewis
Few months ago, the Sagada weavers formally formed a union. So on May 7 of this year, they held a Certification Election (CE) for their union to be officially recognized as their labor organization, their sole representative to negotiate their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the owner or the management of the company they work with.
It is good to hear that after forming their union, their daily wage of P160 was raised to the legislated minimum wage in compliance to the labor law. They are now already drafting their CBA proposals for monetary and non-monetary benefits to be presented at the CBA negotiating table.
While there has been no untoward incidents or skirmishes during the formation of the Sagada Weavers Workers’ Union, it is sad to hear that some people in the community say, that the so-called long lived “industrial peace” that maybe started in 1968 when the company was established (if there is such a thing like that in the workplace) has been disturbed by the formation of a union. They seem to think that the peaceful relationship between the boss and the employees has been broken.
After searching for over an hour in the net, for an exact definition of the term “industrial peace” seemed to elude me. So the actual scene of a factory where the employees toil under bad working conditions, receive low wages and no benefits; “industrial peace” will never be found.
Industrial relations according to the internet refers to the communication between the workers and the employers especially through collective bargaining. When both parties will each present a proposal and they are able to arrived at a win-win agreement, then there will be a harmonious work atmosphere in the workplace as the workers are satisfied with their salaries and benefits, and will feel secure. There will be no reason for production to stop or not run smoothly and progressively.
The formation of a union in the workplace does not ever mean to say that the workers are going to quarrel with their employers or stage a strike without reasons. The workers form a labor organization to safeguard their rights and welfare. The union watches over the good working conditions and sees to it that the production will not enslave the workers but run according to a planned and progressive production program for the benefit of both employer and employees.
The members of the union especially the officers in one of the largest existing mines in Benguet should be on the guard even if there is a great possibility that there will be no Certification Elections at all as the company can always appeal that there is an ongoing case between the existing union and the struggling new union. The management can always say it cannot face the union in the CBA negotiations as there is a pending case regarding workers representation. # nordis.net