Category Archives: Labor Standards


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – No less than 1,500 workers from the Federation and Cooperation of Cola, Beverage, and Allied Industry Unions (FCCU-SENTRO/IUF) held a synchronized picket protest early this morning in Canlubang, Iligan, Iloilo, and other Coke bottling plants and offices condemning the sudden massive lay-off of 600 workers of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines Inc., (CCFPI), the largest franchised bottler of Coca-Cola products in the Philippines.

According to a statement released by the FCCU-SENTRO/IUF, the retrenchment of these workers came without warning “while leaders of [of the union] were holding a meeting with the management of CCFPI” (habang nakikipag pulungan ang mga lider ng [unyon] sa management ng CCFPI). The union added that the company never informed the union that there will be changes in the business model of CCFPI, which, the company alleges, is the reason for the retrenchment.

Alfredo Maranon, National President of FCCU-SENTRO/IUF, states that the action of the CCFPI management violates the company’s obligations under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines as well as the UN Global Compact of which The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta is a signatory. According to these agreements, he adds, the company must hold talks with the union in order to “process the negative results on workers’ jobs and livelihood” (maagapan ang mga negatibong resulta sa trabaho at kabuhayan ng mga manggagawa).

The FCCU-SENTRO/IUF is set to hold more mobilizations until CCFPI heeds their demand to stop the termination of workers in the company and to sit down in a meeting with the union about the company’s restructuring program.– END

The FCCU-SENTRO/IUF is a member of the IUF Global Coca-Cola Workers’ Alliance, the Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at mgaProgresibongManggagawa (SENTRO), and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco, and Allied Workers’ Associations

Nagkaisa hails passage of Security of Tenure Bill

Labor Coalition Nagkaisa! is satisfied over the passage on third reading of HB 6908 on the Security of Tenure at the House of Representatives.

Nagkaisa! said that “the SOT bill is a great improvement to existing legislation as it gives more teeth to the government by providing penalties for those who will violate the security of tenure laws.”

“This is the farthest a proposed law on SOT has gone for decades,” said Nagkaisa! “Now, it’s time to get the Senate moving on their proposed SOT measure.”

“HB 6908 gives more flesh and blood to the guaranteed right to security of tenure,” Nagkaisa! said. “It’s not perfect or ideal, but we can live with it,” said Nagkaisa!, the largest labor coalition in the country.

Fear of employers allayed

Nagkaisa! also addressed fears of employers who went on record saying that they will have a “big problem” if the proposed measure was passed. “If the big problem employers have about HB 6908 refers to the potential cutbacks in the windfall of profits a number of employers have been amassing through the massive abuse of workers via contractualization for decades, the bill intends to do just that,” Nagkaisa! said. “Employers who do not abuse workers through contractualization have nothing to fear,” Nagkaisa! added.

“Never in the history of employment relationship in the country has workers enjoying regular employment and implementation of strict rules in labor contracting been detrimental to the economy and job generation,” Nagakaisa! said.

“Job generation is a function of the development of sectors of the economy influenced by economic policies of the government, and not by labor contracting practices,” Nagkaisa explained.

A “serious problem” employers noted is that if the SOT bill becomes a law, it will be detrimental to the economy and job creation. Nagksaisa! countered the argument. “Workers with regular employment generate more income, thus, with more purchasing power contribute to increasing demand in goods and services that lead to higher income taxes and VAT for the government. These are all good for the economy,” said Nagkaisa.

“The fear that the HB can lead to unemployment is only possible if they are not paying their contractual employees what the law currently demands. In other words, their argument is an admission that they are doing business at the expense of workers’ rights – and they want to continue doing so,” Nagkaisa! added.

The recent statement by the employers didn’t specify which provisions of the bill they strongly disagree with.

Nagkaisa! said it was grateful to Labor Committee Chair Rep. Randolph Ting who steered the discussions and Rep. Raymond Mendoza of TUCP Partylist and Rep. Tom Villarin of Akbayan Partylist who co-authored the SOT Bill and helped defend it together with Nagkaisa.

Trade Union Statement on the 8th ASEAN Regional Tripartite Social Dialogue Conference in Manila, 18-19 October 2017

PSI photo

Trade unions across the ASEAN expressed great disappointment over ASEAN governments who refused to commit to advance workers’ rights in the sub-region.

Ironically, governments refused to heed the workers’ calls during the 8th ASEAN Tripartite Social Dialogue Conference—a forum dedicated to deepen understanding and relations between and among social partners—government, employers and workers.

At the two-day Conference, panel sessions delved on effective social dialogue mechanisms, many examples of which featured good practices of the Philippines.

On the final day of the conference, social dialogue in practice was put to a test. The final plenary session was held to come up with the conference conclusions and recommendations.

In separate interventions, workers’ delegates asked that the conference document reflect the calls to ratify ILO Convention 144 on tripartism; Convention 151 on labor relations in the public sector; and core labor standards covering freedom of association and free collective bargaining; an end to forced labor; elimination of child labor; and an end to discrimination at work.

Ratifying ILO Convention 144 is important as it provides the framework for tripartism and social dialogue in ASEAN member countries. The conference did not explicitly define tripartism and provide a framework for social dialogue. ILO Convention 151 was the subject of a panel discussion where the resource persons openly called for its ratification. Meanwhile, core labor standards was a recurring theme, especially with the acknowledged decline in trade union density across ASEAN.

In the course of the dialogue, workers revised their position several times with the hope of convincing governments and employers to soften their position. Workers offered to change the language to “work towards ratification of the ILO Conventions” instead of the direct call for ratification of ASEAN member states to indicate commitment. They still objected without explaining their position. Workers then moved to just “recognize that trade unions are calling for the ratification” of the said standards. But governments led by Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar and employers maintained their stubborn stance.

After the discussion on the conference statement, trade unions affiliated to Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) and Public Services International (PSI) along with NAGKAISA Labor Coalition expressed their strong objection to the final Conference Joint Statement for not living up to the spirit of tripartism and social dialogue.

20 October 2017

Signed by ASEAN affiliates of:
· Building and Wood Workers International (BWI)
· Public Services International (PSI);

and, members of:
· NAGKAISA Labor Coalition, Philippines