Decline in cases of ‘unfair labor practices’ leads to drop in notices of strike

FEWER CASES of unfair labor practices were filed in the first four months of the year, leading to a drop in the number of strike notices in the said period, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) said in a report.

The number of new notices of strike or lockout fell by 29%, to 69 notices filed from January to April, from 97 in the same period last year.

“Of the 69 cases received since January 2011, 27 involved BD (bargaining deadlock) while 40 raised ULP (unfair labor practices) issues. Two cases raised both the issues of ULP and BD,” the NCMB said. “Last year, 78 of the 97 new cases involved ULP while 18 invoked BD. One case raised both the issues of ULP and BD,” it added.

The strike and lockout notices filed this year involved 14,660 workers, 31% lower than the 21,125 workers affected last year.

Cedric R. Bagtas, deputy general secretary of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, said workers are becoming unwilling to risk their jobs given the uncertain economic environment.

“[The figures] suggest that unions won’t use strikes and strike notices in their dealings with management. They are increasingly unwilling to risk their jobs with the uncertain economic and work environment. The risk of replacement of regular workers by contractuals also weighs heavily,” he said.

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