Between June 14 and 17 and June 21 and 24, a “Seminar on Industrial Relations (IR) and Labor Policy” was held online in collaboration with NTUC Phl. A total of 127 individuals participated in this seminar.
At the beginning of the seminar, NTUC Phl President Rodolfo Capoquian, JILAF Deputy Secretary General Saito, and First Secretary Kanno of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines delivered opening remarks and shared the purpose and objectives of the seminar with all participants.
Next, JILAF Group Leader Tsuji touched on measures to minimize the impact of the spread of COVID-19 infection on employment in Japan, and Program Manager Morishita gave a presentation titled "Constructive Labor-Management Relations and Stable Employment in Japan" where he explained (1) the origins of Japanese labor unions, (2) the productivity movement and the three productivity principles, and (3) the spring labor offensive and labor-management consultations. Participants asked questions and commented on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on personnel and wage system in Japan, support measures for women and expectant and nursing mothers, compensation for absences from work, the handling of vaccines, and the situation of foreign workers.
Next, NTUC Phl gave a brief overview of labor-management relations and the economic and labor situation in the Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other matters, they touched on the high level of unemployment, particularly among young people, and recognized the need for sufficient discussion and consultation with employers through labor unions in order to improve these conditions.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) explained (1) "The Labor Market and Labor-Management Relations," (2) "Trends and Issues in Labor-Management Relations," (3) the "Transition to the New Normal," (4) "Productivity Enhancement Programs," and (5) the "Transition to Sustainable Green Jobs.” In response, participants raised many questions and voiced their opinions regarding the government's support measures for workers, the future outlook for the employment situation, and the cost burdens associated with the COVID-19 measures.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that the spread of COVID-19 has caused significant job losses in the Philippines, especially for women and young workers, and that this inequality is expected to further increase. The ILO then explained the four pillars for countermeasures based on international labor standards: 1) stimulation of the economy and employment, 2) income support for both companies and workers, 3) worker protection in workplaces, and 4) strengthening the function of social dialogue.
Participants then made group presentations on various problems occurring in their respective companies and workplaces and by sharing these presentations reaffirmed the importance of labor union activities.
In closing, JILAF President Nagumo noted that the participants actively participated in the four-day seminar and that labor unions’ proposal to companies to improve productivity and proactive proposal of improvements will lead to higher corporate value, which in turn will improve their own working conditions and lead to stable employment. And he wants us to be well aware that by continuing this work, labor unions will be recognized by society. The seminar closed on a note of looking forward to future activities.