Philippine unions to monitor compliance with labour standards

14.09.2016

IndustriALL Philippine affiliates commit to monitoring compliance by factories on labour laws and occupational safety and health standards.

A one-day national workshop on workers’ participation in the labour law compliance system was organized on 8 September by IndustriALL Global Union, with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) country office in Manila, and the United States Department of Labor.

Attended by 80 trade unionists from 15 labour federations affiliated to IndustriALL, the workshop introduced the international framework on labour inspection, with a focus on ILO Convention 81, and the new labour inspection system in the Philippines.

Unions are committed to monitoring the compliance of factories because of tragic incidents like the fire in the Kentex rubber slipper factory that killed 72 workers last year. The deaths were a clear consequence of the factory failing to comply with labour law and health and safety standards.

There have been other incidents like this, and unions have condemned these needless deaths and committed to monitoring compliance. Unions engaged with the government in the process of developing a new system of labour law compliance with a sector-specific checklist indicating key elements of labour and occupational safety and health standards.

The Philippines Department of Labour and Employment has hired new labour inspectors, and the new system that has been introduced requires involvement from both employers and workers’ representatives. This gives unions an opportunity to active monitor compliance by employees.

As a result of the workshop, the affiliates committed to vigorously engage in this system and use labour law compliance as a basis of unity among the unions, and to strengthen cooperation by forming a trade union monitoring network at regional or sectoral level.

The ILO Manila office expressed its satisfaction at the active participation of the affiliates and assured sustained cooperation with IndustriALL in capacity building and technical cooperation.