Study Finds Labor Unions Becoming Irrelevant

Article excerpt

Byline: EDU H. LOPEZ

Labor unions my find themselves obsolete in the Philippines if they do no reinvent with the threat of irrelevances facing the labor code written way back in 1973.

This is one of the latest in employment trends discussed between employers, labor leaders and academics in a recent roundtable discussion on innovations for labor and employment sponsored by the De La Salle University-Angelo King Institute of Policy Studies.

One speaker, Prof. Jorge V. Sibal, saw the shrinking of the local manufacturing and farming sectors and the steady growth of the services sector as a result of globalization. This resulted also in the decline of labor union membership among the employed.

The rise in the share of the services sector, particularly the spectacular growth of call centers and business process outsourcing industries gave rise to a new employment scheme, the drawing of individual work contracts between a worker and his or her employer.

Added to the casualization of many services, especially in retail and security services, individual work contracts have been eroding the viability of organized unions that bargain for better benefits and decent pay for workers. …