Employers Pursue Social Dialogue, Labor Code Review, Wage Rationalization
Posted: May 03, 2012
Strengthening social dialogue with organized labor, particularly with responsible trade unions, along with government in addressing issues of mutual concern; reviewing comprehensively and inclusively the Labor Code; and rationalizing minimum wage-fixing are among the areas which the country’s employers consider as “critical pathways to sustained growth and the operation of a dynamic labor market.”
These emerged from discussions in the recently-concluded two-day 33rd National Conference of Employers organized by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) at the Marriott Hotel. Focusing on the theme, “Pathways to Growth,” the biggest annual gathering of employers underscored that their commitment to “strengthen social dialogue with responsible trade unions,” in tandem with government, is in furtherance of “securing an equitable balance of rights and obligations between employers and workers arising from law and policy.”
ECOP President Edgardo G. Lacson noted that in relation to the review of the Labor Code, delegates to the Conference have recommended the reform of pertinent regulatory provisions overtaken by the rapid changes taking place in the global marketplace and which have become archaic and inflexible in terms of providing the environment that would enable enterprises to flourish and compete in the face of relentless globalization. In addition, the delegates called for the repeal of, and desistance from imposing, harsh penal sanctions against employers for “non-egregious violation of labor law.”
On rationalizing minimum wage-fixing, delegates have raised the need to implement as policy and incorporate in the Labor Code the two-tiered wage system introduced by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC). The first tier consists of a basic regional floor wage as safety net which uses as additional standard/criterion reference the prevailing regional poverty threshold that is intended to protect the incomes of the most vulnerable workers such as the unskilled and news entrants to the labor force. On the other hand, the second tier consists of a productivity-based pay system based on wage advisories to guide enterprises in the design and implementation of adjusting wages above the floor wage.
In addition, Lacson said employers sought to sustain efforts to stabilize and consistently improve growth rates, implement priority public-private partnership (PPP) projects to stimulate the generation of employment and economic activities.