MUNTAPARLAS Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (MCTIPC) manifests its steadfast efforts in solidifying better management and labor relations in the region through the conduct of its regular meeting for the year 2022 with a learning session on “Strengthening Partnership in the Workplace for Post-COVID Labor Relations Trends for Management Cooperation and Grievance Machinery” on April 29, 2022, at the DOLE-NCR MUNTAPARLAS (MTPLFO) Field Office in Las Piñas City.

Evoking the need to promote tripartism, MTPLFO Director Leonides P. Castillon, Jr. underscored the significance of upholding continuous engagement with its MTIPC members through social dialogues and regular learning sessions in an attempt for the labor department to recognize the central concerns of the industries and to facilitate effective solutions on their labor-management conflicts.

Twenty-seven (27) MCTIPC members representing both the management and labor union from various sectors such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), hotel and restaurant services, manufacturing, and manpower services actively participated in healthy discussions which intend to readily assess existing industries’ approach, to build enhance understanding on dispute resolution, and to broaden industries’ knowledge on other alternative strategies of conflict resolution in the workplace amid the presence of COVID-19.

The discussion elaborated on concepts such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and its process; advantages of voluntary arbitration; establishment of the grievance machinery (GM) to strengthen workers and management relations; and the importance of labor-management cooperation (LMC). National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB) – NCR Chief LEO Maria Cecille V. Ceballos emphasized the positive link between exhausting the use of ADR and the company’s grievance machinery and the use to settle company disputes before escalation to compulsory arbitration.

In a nutshell, ADR allows exploring all possible solutions which can fast-track and cost-effectively resolve conflicts without damaging relations. Article 3, Paragraph 3 of the 1987 Constitution recognizes the premise of ADR, which states that “the state will promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes of settling disputes.”

In addition, the establishment of GM provides the following advantages for both parties: (1) gives an opportunity for the employee to raise their concerns; (2) provides employees with the opportunity to appeal a decision and to resolve the problem; (3) prevents minor disagreements from developing into a full-blown labor dispute; and (4) allows peaceful resolution of disputes. Ceballos also stressed the option of using voluntary arbitration to prevent further escalation of issues unresolved with the GM. Under voluntary arbitration, parties are provided a viable alternative in solving labor-management disputes without the legalistic and technical rules of the court.

The session further embarked on dialogues regarding the everyday concerns of labor and management representatives. One issue opened is the immediate venting of employees on their dissatisfaction with the management through social media platforms. Accordingly, Ceballos advised the participants to avoid abrupt confrontations and to galvanize the use of voluntary arbitration and the management’s grievance machinery.

DOLE-NCR maintains its goal to unify the labor and management sectors along with the Department through the tripartite industrial peace councils, which aim to strengthen peaceful relations in the employment sector.

END / Christinne Jeremiah Torrecampo and Ericka Escalada