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Montaño pushes for Labor Code amendments to conform to ILO Conv. 87; condemns killings

 

FFW National President Atty. Allan S. Montaño has called on the Philippine government to amend the more than three decade-old Labor Code to conform with ILO Convention 87 on the "Freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organize," which the Philippines has ratified as early as 1953. Meanwhile, he condemned in the strongest possible terms the "killings" that have happened in the country as these are unjustified whatever the circumstances surrounding them.

The FFW President, acting as adviser of the Philippine Workers' Delegate, made this public call in front of the international community while addressing the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards of the 96th Session of the International Labour Conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland on May 30-June 16.

Particularly, Atty. Montaño called for the review of Article 70 of the Philippine Labor Code, which requires unions to secure permission from the Secretary of Labor before receiving foreign assistance. This is violative of Sec. 5 of Conv. 87. He also found Art. 234 of the Labor Code as inconsistent with the right to organize since this requires the submission of the names of at least 20% of all employees under organizing in a particular establishment, as well as the names of its officers--thereby exposing them to possible harassment and the threat of dismissal by employers who do not respect this right.

Atty. Montaño also called on the government to explicitly identify which industries fall under the category "essential service" so as to limit the scope of the controversial "Assumption of Jurisdiction (over labor disputes)" powers of the Secretary of Labor during, if not even before the conduct of strikes. He also called for the de-criminalization of illegal strikes.

Atty. Montaño was reacting to the observations made by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, an international body of jurists, lawyers and international law experts created by the ILO to look into the Regular Reports of members-States and comments of workers' groups on the implementation of ILO Conventions they have ratified.

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