The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for program and policy coordination, held a dialogue with the labor unions in Negros Occidental to refute alleged issues on graft and corruption practices, and anti-labor or anti-union claims.
The issues allegedly stemmed from the non-inclusion of union representatives (non-lawyers) to a mandatory conference, according to the NLRC press release.
NLRC Rules and Regulations as amended provided in Rule III, Section 6 that:
(b) A non-lawyer may appear in any proceedings before the labor Labor Arbiter or Commission only under the following conditions:
(1) He/She presents himself/herself as party to the case;
(2) He/She represents a legitimate labor organization, as defined under Article 219 and 251 of the Labor Code;
(3) He/She represents a member or members of a legitimate labor organization that is existing within the employer’s establishment;
(4) He/She is a duly-accredited member of any legal aid office recognized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or Integrated Bar of the Philippines;
(c) Appearances of non-lawyer is contravention of this Section shall not be recognized in any proceedings before the Labor Arbiter or the Commission.
During the dialogue, it was agreed that as a silent rule, to allow these representatives to assist complainants during mandatory conference, with the condition that once the counsel of the other party questions their appearance, they have to leave the conference.
In its 2018 statistical report, the NLRC- Regional Arbitration Branch (RAB-VI) showed that of 1,088 cases disposed, 63 percent was won by the labor sector, while 71 percent of the 579 cases filed as of May 31 this year was won by the labor group, negating the anti-labor or anti-union claims.
NLRC is mandated to uphold and sustain “industrial peace” by solving labor and management disputes concerning local and overseas employees.*
(LTP/LML-PIA6 Negros Occidental via NDB)