Freedom of association and collective bargaining for tripartite partners

Training-Workshop on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining for Tripartite Members, Prosecutors and Investigators Handling Labour-related Grave Human Rights abuses

Results of the Training-Workshop included recommendations on how to improve field and national level coordination between tripartite monitoring boards and government bodies involved in the investigation and prosecution of cases of extra judicial killings, enforced disappearances and other grave human rights violations, including alleged labor related cases. Inputs on how to integrate principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining, relevant laws and procedures in training materials for composite teams of prosecutors and investigators handling such cases. These recommendations have been endorsed to the DOJ for consideration, as chairperson the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances,Torture and other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.

The ILO Country Office for the Philippines (CO-Manila), in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a two and half days Trainers’ Training and Workshop on International Labour Standards and Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in Tagaytay City last 25-27 May 2015.

This activity was conducted with support from the ILO-Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) Partnership Programme. There were 56 participants during the activity. Present were members of the Regional Tripartite Monitoring Bodies (RTMBs) and the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council Monitoring Body (NTIPC MB), both of which were created to monitor and validate alleged labour related human rights abuses. Also present were members of the Administrative Order 35 Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons. These agencies include the DOJ, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Presidential Commission on Human Rights (PHRC), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The IAC was created under President Aquino’s Administrative Order No. 35 series of 2012. The IAC’s Special Oversight Teams (SOTs), which review cases and their Special Investigation Teams (SITs) and Special Tracker Teams (STTs) were likewise represented during the activity.

This activity is a follow up to the findings and recommendations of the ILO High Level Mission of 2009, which looked into workers’ complaints submitted to the ILO on extra judicial killing, enforced disappearances and torture of trade unionists. This is also in response to the concerns expressed by tripartite partners in various for a on the slow resolution, as well as continuing violation of workers’ rights of a similar nature.

Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz of DOLE in her Opening Message reiterated on the Philippine’s obligation to implement ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98 in national law and practice, which includes the government’s commitment to ensure investigation, prosecution and conviction of cases of labour related alleged extrajudicial killings and attempted murder. The ILO CO-Manila Director, Lawrence Jeff Johnson, in his opening message, read by Senior Programme Officer, Ms Diane Lynn Respall also emphasized that “Only when the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining are respected and when workers and employers can freely participate and contribute to the development process, can inclusive growth and sustainable peace and development follow”.

Ongoing Labour Dispute: AFP and PNP Guidelines