Labor groups insist on inclusion in controversial EO 23 body


WHEN they attend the forthcoming National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) meeting this month, labor groups will renew their push for the inclusion of worker representation in the presidential interagency committee that will look into alleged abuses in the sector.

Nagkaisa labor coalition chair Sonny Matula made the pronouncement as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has yet to get labor’s inputs on the operation of the committee created by Executive Order (EO) No. 23.

“In the coming NTIPC meeting, we will express our earnest desire for a thorough discussion on Executive Order 23 as we have been actively urging our fellow trade unionists to actively engage with the inter-agency committee upon its operations to ensure their voices are heard,” Matula said via SMS.

The NTIPC is the consultative advisory council of the DOLE, with representatives from the government, employers and workers.

Earlier this month, Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma said that while the EO 23 committee has no worker representative, they would still be consulting labor groups to get their concerns.

The committee was created in response to the recommendation of the International Labor Organization-High Level Tripartite Mission (ILO-HLTM) to address the alleged labor abuses in the country.

Matula insists EO 23 should be amended to include workers in the committee membership since it will deal with matters that “carry significant implications  for the trade movement to address Freedom of Association (FOA) violations.”

“We believe that open and inclusive dialogue is crucial in shaping policies that safeguard the rights and interests of the workers,” he added.

Nagkaisa said the current state of committee membership of EO 23 violates the intent of the ILO-HLTM recommendation, and can lead to the country being scrutinized in the International Labor Conference next month.

Image credits: DOLE via Facebook