Group Calls for Labor Standards to Assure Foreign Investors

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Byline: RAUL V. GONZALES

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) yesterday called on the Labor department to strengthen enforcement of labor standards to allay concerns of foreign investors about widespread violations of labor laws in the country.

TUCP president Democrito T. Mendoza said that it is essential to address such concerns to ensure the steady flow of capital into the country and to generate jobs for the over 35 million-strong labor force.

Mendoza said that many foreign investors particularly from the United States and Europe are now putting a premium on social responsibility, corporate governance, and observance of labor standards in choosing investment destinations.

The TUCP cited the California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers) as one of the big investors that is "bothered" over reports of widespread labor standards violations. Calpers has investments of at least $80 million in the Philippine stock market.

"We may wake up one day to find that these investors have pulled out their money from the Philippines because we are unable to enforce our own labor standards," Mendoza said.

However, the TUCP said that the weakness in enforcement is partly due to the Labor department's lack of inspection personnel. …