Mining unions and worker representatives agreed to unite at a meeting in Tagaytay City on 5-6 June 2018.

Mining unions in the Philippines unite to build workers’ power

18.06.2018

IndustriALL Global Union mining affiliates in the Philippines, together with other unions and workers’ representatives in the sector, have formed a network to advocate mine workers’ interests at the national and local level, following a workshop in Tagaytay City on 5-6 June.

The workshop was organized and supported by the International Labour Organization under the framework of Just Transition for sustainable economies. It included participants from mining unions affiliated to IndustriALL through ALU, PTGWO and TF2. 

The workshop also brought together unions from KMU, SENTRO, FFW and TUCP, as well as representatives from the informal sector and communities, especially from the Caraga region, which is considered the mining capital of the Philippines. 

The meeting of mining unions provides an opportunity to share experiences and issues encountered at mining sites, particularly in the area of occupational safety and health and other labour and environmental challenges in the mining sector.

The unions discussed how to address those challenges and came up with a charter of demands that includes strengthening coordination with different government agencies, transparent reporting of mining firms, upgrade wage scale in the mining industry, unemployment insurance for mineworkers and mine closure plan.

In order to realize these demands the unions and workers’ representative agreed to consolidate its forces and form a network of mining unions and workers’ representatives to build power. At the conclusion, all participants agreed on the stated declaration of principles, that:

  1. All mine workers have the right to self-organization, voice, representation and to bargain collectively with individual mining firms and/or with mining sector employers’ association/s as guaranteed by national laws and in conformity with the principles of ILO Conventions 87 and 98.
  2. All mine workers have the right to a safe and healthy working environment based on set domestic OSH standards and global best practices, and consistent with ILO Convention 176 on Safety and Health in Mines.
  3. All mine workers have the right to security of tenure, to a workweek in accordance with the existing standards and regulations and to work schedules that permit work-life balance.
  4. All mine workers have the right to adequate training for their positions and to further training enabling them to advance within the company and/or for redeployment.
  5. All mine workers have the right to Just Transition to be decided in consultations with their organizations and in line with the ILO Guidelines for Just Transition for workers and their communities.  

Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL’s director for mining, said:

“Just Transition is a policy proposal concept developed by global unions. It is essentially a safeguard and adaptive measures to mitigate the harsh consequences of any transition as a result of climate change and other production or operational redesign or re-engineering.”