Labor, industry agree on ‘social partnering’

Published online at ABS-CBN Interactive, December 6, 2006

A new paradigm on labor and capital relation will be put to test after representatives of various labor and industry groups signed a joint communique that “intends to end the traditional animosity between labor and capital.”

The joint statement, entitled “Social Partnership on Decent Work, Productivity and Competitiveness,” was the product of the efforts of the Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI).

Wigberto Tañada, FTA lead convenor, said the signing of the communique Tuesday is a signal that labor and industry leaders agree “to build a new productive win-win industrial relationship based on mutual trust and confidence.”

Dean Jorge Sibal of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations said the communique is a response to globalization.

“Domestic labor and capital need to harness their complementary traits and work together in resolving their inherent differences to continue meeting competition from the outside,” he said.

Labor groups, meanwhile, said the threat of globalization became more real with local industries slowing down production if not actually ceasing operations. The more pressing issue now, members said, is job security.

While partnering is based on the premise of “understanding and accommodation of each other’s interests,” it does not mean there will no longer be strikes.

Meneleo Carlos, chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries, said the communique will continue to recognize the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike.

Carlos said industrial peace is beyond strikes and lockouts. Progress and industrial harmony, he said, means raising the productivity level of the workers.

Addressing the launch of the communique Tuesday at the Club Filipino, Cavite Gov. Irineo Maliksi, took pride in having his province as pilot area for a labor-industry social covenant signed last year.

The finer points of the communique, however, still need to be fleshed-out, Sibal said. Representatives of the various groups will meet first week of December to discuss the measures for the implementation of the


  1. Julian K.

    Appreciate a list of signatories if that is available.

  2. Julian K.

    Appreciate a list of signatories, if that is available.


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