Labor coalition welcomes Bello’s decision not to sign agreement with ECOP

Published March 1, 2019, 4:52 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Analou De Vera

A labor coalition on Friday welcomed the decision of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III not to push through with the signing of an agreement with the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP).

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

“We are glad [that] Secretary Silvestre Bello came to his senses and decided not to sign any Memorandum of Agreement with employers for a moratorium on inspection for a period of three years in exchange for the employers’ voluntary regularization of merely 30 to 40 percent of their endo workforce,” said Atty. Sonny Matula, chairperson of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and ECOP are supposed to ink a deal for the regularization of over 200,000 workers. The deal was scrapped due to opposition of labor groups and threats of lawsuit against the labor chief.

The Nagkaisa group reiterated that voluntary regularization does not need an agreement.

“If employers are really sincere in complying with the law on security of tenure, why don’t they do so voluntarily and stop challenging compliance orders in courts? Why include immunity from inspection until the end of this administration?,” said Matula.

Matula said that DOLE should not blame the labor groups for the cancellation of the agreement.

“We also take exception to the allegation of the Secretary that it is the fault of labor groups that 200,000 workers or so were not regularized. We have done our part by having these erring companies inspected so that the DOLE can issue lawful orders calling for the regularization of their workers,” said Matula.

“Instead of insulting them, trade unions should be commended for saving the secretary from an indecent proposal that would bring him to perdition,” he added.