Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition and Kilusang Mayo Uno deplore the creation and implementation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) of the Joint Industrial Peace and Coordination Office (JIPCO), which is intended to prevent so-called “radical union infiltration” in industrial zones in Central Luzon.
Since the explicit purpose of JIPCO is to stop the organizing of trade unions, this is clearly an institutional and government-led attack on workers’ right to organize.
There is no official definition of “radical unions” since there is no legal basis about it. The JIPCO will clearly be used by abusive PEZA locators as a tool against union organizing in general. By declaring any and all trade union organizing as being initiated by “radical unions” abusive PEZA locators will unfairly and immorally use government’s intelligence and security resources for surveillance and espionage against trade unions and workers, who are taxpayers. This misappropriates precious government resources to infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed workers’ right to organize.
Art. 256 (246) of the Labor Code speaks about ‘non abridgement of the right to self-organization, which states that:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to restrain, coerce, discriminate against or unduly interfere with employees and workers in their exercise of the right to self-organization. Such right shall include the right to form, join, or assist labor organizations for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of their own choosing and to engage in lawful concerted activities for the same purpose for their mutual aid and protection, subject to the provisions of Article 264 of this Code. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 70, May 1, 1980).”
KMU and Nagkaisa believe that an attack by PEZA and PNP against one union or their attempt to disrupt efforts to organize workers by any union is an attack to unionism altogether.
JIPCO will serve the aims of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. This poses a great danger to the lives and safety of union leaders and organizers as it further encourages irresponsible “red tagging” of the PNP that have compromised the basic rights and have cost the liberty of the people, and attacked legitimate organizations.
JIPCO, in preventing union organizing will lead to the suppression of workers’ right to redress and grievances; and workers’ demands for living wage, better benefits, and humane, safe and healthy workplaces.
JIPCO is in violation of International Labor Organization Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association (FOA) and collective bargaining.
The PNP, DILG and PEZA are committing grave abuse of authority with the creation of the JIPCO
At the stakeholders meeting today between and among the DOLE, trade unions, employers’ groups, PNP, PEZA, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Nagkaisa and KMU will therefore demand:
- The immediate abolition of JIPCO and rendering ineffective of the Memorandum of Agreement that created it
- Review of the PEZA AFP and PNP Guidelines on their conduct in EcoZones
- Review of AO 35 with the view of enhancing the role of workers
- Government’s acceptance of the ILO Tripartite High Level Mission that will look into the killings and harassment of trade union leaders and organizers; and violations of the provisions of ILO C. 87 and 98 and other FOA principles
- Conduct of FOA orientation sessions for key AFP and PNP officers and frontline personnel; and security guards