MANILA, Philippines – In the Philippines, there is a provision for unionism not only under the Labor Code but also under the supreme law of the land, the Philippine Constitution.
Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875 ensures that employees shall have the right to organize and to form, join, or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining and to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection.
Related read: Right of employees to form a union
But what do these legal provisions mean?
Employees and workers have the right to join, or not to join a union in their workplace.
Yet it seems that this clear and simple law has been often bastardized and violated by employers.
Employers, it seems, believe that when they allow the unions in the daily operation of the company will be interrupted.
Some employers also believe that their profit margin will be divided and that they will not meet their annual projected income.
For the employers, a union is not only an obstacle to business growth but also a potential interference in the working relationship between the management and the employees that might end in the closing of their businesses.
They might have these assumptions. But what impact does a union really have on a company?
A union is a tool and instrument for workers and employees to air their grievances and to protect their interests in the workplace.
A union is not an organization that aims to dismantle the company’s reputation or even encourage workers to leave their job.
A union is organized simply to protect the worker’s rights and to provide better living conditions for their families.
It is there for one purpose–to level the playing field with the employers.
A labor union can provide a stable job in the workplace. In other words, if you have a union you will enjoy better job security than having a no union at all.
With a union in the company, you as an employee can have a better wage and benefits.
A union will also secure an employee’s seniority in the workplace. With the opportunity to stay in a company and advance, employees can be trained more to be reliant and productive.
What’s more, every union organization has a series of education training programs that can enhance their capacity to be more efficient and effective in meeting the needs of the company.
Nevertheless, despite the many positive programs being provided by the union, still, some employers dislike unions.
For the employers, giving the union the free will and free hand will make the management vulnerable and will also limit the management prerogative.
In the end, if employers persist in resisting the formation of the union in the company, conflicts will eventually arise. And labor leaders will soon be illegally targeted by employers for elimination or displaced from their workplace, just to ensure that no union will exist in the company.
However, this so-called “union busting” is illegal under the Labor Code and Constitution, since employees and workers have the right to join, or not to join a union in their workplace.
If the employer interferes with the process of free association, they are guilty under the law and are liable to suffer the consequences. CPM
A union is a tool and instrument for workers and employees to air their grievances and to protect their interests in the workplace. A union is not an organization that aims to dismantle the company’s reputation or even encourage workers to leave their job.