The Leaders’ Forum outlined its plans and programs for the duration of the “Strengthening Bipartism at the National and Enterprise Levels” during a strategic planning workshop held on 8 February 2019 at the Makati Diamond Residences.
The Leaders’ Forum (LF) consists of the leaders of ECOP, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), representing management, and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), representing labor.
They recently signed a memorandum of agreement to institutionalize bipartism as a mechanism for social dialogue under a project being implemented by ECOP with support from the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI). The Project, which started in October 2018, will run for one year until September 2019.
The LF will meet once every quarter to discuss issues of common concern to labor and employers. For its meeting this year, the LF is expected to discuss lowering the cost of power, multi-employer bargaining, skills development, and inflation in relation to the TRAIN law. If a consensus is reached, a social accord will be signed to embody the agreements of both parties.
A separate mechanism to promote bipartism at the enterprise level has also been established. This involves the identification of nine (9) companies whose unions are affiliated with TUCP, FFW, and SENTRO. The management and union representatives of seven (7) of these participating companies joined the first thematic workshop on the topic “essentials of social dialogue at the enterprise level.” Three (3) more thematic workshops will be conducted during the project term. These companies are also expected to undertake programs, activities, and events meant to enhance the relationship between management and union based on an action plan which they mutually agreed on.