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DOLE: All peaceful on the labor front in 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Peace prevailed in the labor front this year, the government said yesterday.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said strikes remained at single-digit level for the sixth consecutive year.

“Only three strikes occurred during the year, marking the sixth year in a row that the DOLE and its attached agency, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), managed to maintain strike incidence at a single digit,” she said.

Baldoz said the three strikes recorded this year was up by just one case from the two cases declared in 2011.

This was only 1.4 percent of the total 207 notices of strike filed before the NCMB, she added.

The three strikes were in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.

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All three strikes were declared during the second semester of 2012.

Rey Ubaldo, NCMB director, said stable industrial relations is also reflected in the declining number of notices of strike/lockout and preventive mediation cases.

“Although there were three work stoppages, productive man-days lost declined significantly as a result of fewer workers affected by strikes,” he said.

The NCMB docketed 169 notices of strike/lockout this year, 24 percent lower than the number of notices filed in 2011.

It also received 387 new preventive mediation cases, 24 percent fewer than those filed last year.

NCMB efforts to resolve labor disputes resulted in the facilitation of P911 million in collective bargaining agreement packages and other monetary benefits for 11,231 workers.

Estimated savings (or the amount of salaries and production costs not wasted) as a result of the successful resolution of notices of strike/lockout and preventive mediation cases reached P1.27 billion.

The DOLE also reported a downtrend in the number of interventions of the Office of the DOLE Secretary.

Baldoz had invoked her lawful powers to assume jurisdiction, or certify cases to compulsory arbitration, in only 12 cases in 2012.

Ubaldo said the NCMB has scored high in commitments in Project SpeED, or the Speedy and Expeditious Delivery of Labor Cases Project, disposing of 94 percent of its enrolled cases.

Disposition of the cases under Project SpeED 5 benefited some 2,892 workers with P161 million in monetary awards and benefits.

The NCMB received some 145 new voluntary arbitration cases in 2012 and disposed of 64 percent of all voluntary arbitration cases handled, benefiting some 1,585 workers with P183 million in monetary awards, Ubaldo said.

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