Labor groups to meet with PGMA over lunch on Tuesday

April 26, 2010 8:14 pm 

MANILA, April 26 — President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo will meet over lunch the leaders of the biggest labor federations in the country for the last time during her incumbency as President on Tuesday, April 27, at the Bonifacio Hall of Malacañang in line with the celebration of Labor Day on May 1.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said some 50 labor leaders of the various federations and unions, led by Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) National president Democrito Mendoza Sr., have been invited to the Palace meeting.

Roque said that during the meeting, the labor leaders will jointly and solitarily express their gratitude and appreciation to the President for having supported the various labor agenda they have presented to the nine-year Arroyo administration.

The labor leaders are expected to extend to the President their gratitude for the enactment of the amended Migrant Workers Act, the Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners, the Magna Carta of Women and other pertinent laws and regulations that have helped the Filipino workers cope with the challenges of a volatile and struggling economy.

The labor leaders are also expected to acknowledge the President for having instituted economic and fiscal reforms that have mitigated the impact of the global financial crisis that hit most of the economies of the global power nations.

The Labor chief said the President appreciated the growing maturity of both the labor and management sectors, which resulted to a historic industrial peace that was achieved in the last few years with the lowest strike rate of four recorded in 2009, the lowest in the history of labor relations in the country. There was also a steady decline in the number of strike/lockout notices being filed.

He said the peace and stability in the labor front was largely attained through the active cooperation of labor and management, as they resorted to less costly, amicable and more expeditious means of settling their disputes.

Roque said the labor groups cited, among others, the wage and non-wage benefits that the Arroyo administration has provided the workers, especially during the critical times of the global crisis and the natural calamities that hit the nation last year.

He said the labor groups also cited the Social Security System (SSS) Condonation Program and other assistance given to the workers to help them cope with the crisis and calamities such as the rice subsidy, Botika ng Bayan, micro-entrepreneurship for the Informal Sector, sectoral representation in Government boards, Wages and Income Augmentation Program (WINAP) and creation of the Tripartite Case Monitoring Body (ILO cases/complaints) during the conduct of the ILO mission in the country last year.

At the luncheon program, the prayer will be led by Trade Union of the Philippines and Allied Services (TUPAS) Secretary General Vladimir Tupaz, followed by an opening statement by Atty. Alejandro Villaviza of TUCP after which the President will give her response.

Aside from Secretary Roque, the labor leaders’ meeting with the President will also be joined by senior officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and of the Office of the President.

Other federations joining the luncheon meeting are the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), National Association of Trade Unions (NATU), Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW), Associated Federation of Labor Unions (AFLU), Confederation of Filipino Workers (CFW), National Mines & Allied Workers Union (NAMAWU), National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE), Associated Marine and Officers Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), International Seamen’s Mutual Labor Association (ISLA) and Alliance of Workers in the Informal Economy/Sector (ALWAIS), among others. (PNA)

scs/V3/PR

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