The Philippines is having a trade-union bustamanti battle with the country’s largest union, the Trade Union Confederation of the Philippines, which is demanding the government repeal a bill that would allow union organizers to organize for the first time since the end of martial law.
The union is demanding that the Philippine government repeal the “Right to Organize for Change Act” (RAOC) which would allow the union to organize.
The bill was introduced by former President Benigno Aquino III.
It would allow unions to register and conduct activities as of June 30, 2018.
The RAOC would permit workers to form unions, but would not permit them to have any bargaining power.
The government responded by saying that the bill was designed to allow unions, not to allow them.
The measure was withdrawn in a vote by lawmakers in the Senate on March 31.
“This law was not designed to help unions in a time of crisis, but to help corporations, and we must stop these practices,” Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (R) said in a statement after the vote.
“It was designed for the big companies and their lobbyists, and it is not designed for working people.”
The bill also allows unions to organize outside of their workplace, and would make it easier for unions to collect dues from employees, which would reduce the union’s ability to fund itself.
But the union says the bill is a step toward corporate control of the workplace, since it would make unions irrelevant to employers.
“We want to protect the rights of workers in our workplaces and not the rights to bosses to abuse the labor laws and control the workers’ wages and working conditions,” said former National Trade Union Congress president Jose Luisa Baguio.
The unions’ pushback is being backed by labor activists and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed the legislation.
The Philippines has a large number of unions, and many of them have grown significantly since the war, when they were largely self-governing.
But unions have been slow to respond to the government’s demands to be allowed to organize, and even to support a proposed constitutional amendment to limit the scope of collective bargaining rights.
According to the union, nearly 400,000 workers have been laid off during the crisis, including nearly 800,000 since December 2016.
The trade union, which represents about 500,000 people, argues that the RAOC, which allows workers to organize without having to register with the government, should be repealed because it is a direct assault on the rights and livelihoods of ordinary workers.
“The RAOC will give big businesses a way to keep workers under their control,” said Roxana Singson, national secretary of the Philippine Federation of Labor, in a press conference after the voting.
“If the government wants to restrict our ability to organize and protect the interests of workers, then we will fight to the death.”
The Philippine Chamber Of Commerce has called for the RAOWC to be repealed, saying it has a “significant impact” on the lives of workers.
It said that the “law has become a tool for employers to prevent workers from forming unions and to further consolidate their power in the labor market.”
“We call on the government to repeal this law so that the rights, protections and privileges afforded by the law can be respected for all workers and employers,” said Claudia Guevara, executive director of the chamber.
“Restoring the rights guaranteed under the law, in particular to the rights related to organizing, is the only way to protect workers’ interests, which include wages, wages, conditions, social security, health and retirement,” she added.
The Philippine government has defended the RAOOC, saying that it will help the country “secure its economic security.”
“This legislation will help ensure the stability of the country and will help to keep the economy afloat,” it said in an official statement.