By ALDWIN QUITASOL
“Labor wants also pride and joy in doing work, a sense of making or doing something beautiful or useful — to be treated with dignity and respect as brother and sister” — Thorstein Veblin
Many workers in different workplaces are normally always on the guard in protecting their job and their collective and individual rights. They try as hard as they could to perform their work as they are expected to do. They learn to love what they do especially if they know these help in the development of the people and the nation. When their employer disregards their hard work, they learn to fight for what they think is right, that is, to preserve not only their job security but their dignity as human beings.
To find strength in their fight, they opt to form or join labor organizations, associations or unions. Through their effort, they can be more confident in airing their grievances against any degradation or any form of hostilities against them.
To the eyes of many employers and businessmen, once their workers have a union, their control over them is over. Once they plan to terminate employees, management has to deal with the union. In short, the union will be a nuisance to their businesses.
Businesses should not worry that much as they still have hope. Every time the workers file charges against them for committing unfair labor practices, they pass through legal processes of the different government’s labor agencies such as the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).
If the workers opt to go on strike because they no longer bear what their boss is doing to them, they have to file a Notice of Strike (NoS). Concerned agencies initiate conciliation to do away with the strike. Then their case will prosper and the management will answer it. If that conciliation fails, before or during the strike, the Secretary of Labor will then assume jurisdiction over the case and issues a return to work order to the striking workers. The secretary will also inform the workers to refrain from any action considered illegal.
When this happens, the workers will be at the losing end. They have to follow the rules of law like back to work, despite their legitimate issues and legal processes they observed before the strike. Never mind if they are coerced and harassed by the company not to form or join any labor organization or union, or their security of tenure threatened by the company. It will not matter if the company or management will not respect the rights of the workers to enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). It is like there is no big deal if the employer will not recognize the officers of the union or the union itself.
The fight of the workers never stops with the DoLE orders because these emanate from anti-labor laws If the laws were really written for the workers, then there are no disgruntled workers.
Only a major change in society can truly bring hope to the working class. #