WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND ENHANCEMENT (formerly Labor-Management Cooperation Program)


  1. Conduct plant-level orientation seminars and skills training on LMC;
  2. Facilitate the setting up, re-activation and strengthening of plant-level LMCs;
  3. Establish and maintain linkages with LMC Practitioners’ Associations nationwide.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 


WHAT IS LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION?

Labor-management cooperation is a state of relations where labor and management work handing-hand to accomplish certain goals using mutually acceptable means.

It is the outcome of a continuing process of enhancing mutual trust and respect through:

  • information sharing
  • discussion
  • consultation
  • negotiations

as schemes of workers’ participation in decision making process on matters not covered by collective bargaining agreements.

WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR LABOR AND MANAGEMENT TO COOPERATE?

Primary, because labor and management are social partners sharing a common interest in the success and growth of the enterprise and the economy Specifically,

  • to promote workers’ participation in decision-making processes
  • to create a labor relations climate conducive to productivity improvement
  • to improve the quality of working life
  • to achieve and sustain economic growth

WHAT ARE THE MECHANISMS TO PROMOTE LABOR – MANAGEMENT COOPERATION?

  1. Direct participation mechanisms through small group activities like quality control circles or productivity improvement circles
  2. Indirect participation mechanisms through joint consultative bodies like labor-management councils or committees
  3. Combination of direct and indirect participation mechanisms like joint bodies and small group activities

WHAT FACTORS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE SUCCESS OF LABOR MANAGEMENT COOPERATION?

Attitudes

    • sincerity – mutual support
    • mutual trust – openness

WHAT FACTORS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE SUCCESS OF LABOR MANAGEMENT COOPERATION?

    • commitment – teamwork
    • mutual respect – objectivity

Appropriate skills

    • leadership – facilitation
    • communication – team building
    • problem-solving – planning

Suitable structure

    • addresses identified needs and concerns
    • can be formal, informal or both
    • assures adequate representation of labor and management
    • ensures attainment of decisions through consensus
    • provides feedback mechanism at all levels of the organization

WHAT FACTORS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE SUCCESS OF LABOR MANAGEMENT COOPERATION?

  • personnel policies
  • production plans
  • business expansion programs
  • productivity improvement programs
  • productivity gain-sharing programs
  • job security
  • improvement of quality of worklife
  • occupational health and safety programs
  • introduction of new technology and machinery
  • retrenchment programs
  • business mergers or closure
  • workers’ welfare and livelihood programs
  • sports, recreation and social activities

WHAT BENEFITS CAN WORKERS DERIVE FROM LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION PROGRAMS?

  • Opportunity to participate in policy and decision-making process
  • A channel of communication to top management
  • Means to make inputs in solving operational problems and management plans affecting workers in the workplace
  • Avenues for employees to air complaints that cannot be appropriately addressed in the grievance procedure
  • Opportunity to demonstrate that the union is a responsible organization with a constructive role to play beyond the traditional contract negotiations and grievance settlement
  • Opportunity for self-improvement and on-the- job leadership training

WHAT BENEFITS CAN MANAGEMENT DERIVE FROM LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION PROGRAMS?

  • A forum to share information about business conditions, quality problems, product development and other matters that demonstrate the role of employees in the success of the enterprise.

  • An opportunity for advanced discussions of operational problems and plans, particularly those affecting employee work schedules, overtime, lay-offs, transfers etc.

  • A means to relate with the union without being bogged down in labor relations issues.

  • Opportunity to demonstrate responsiveness to constructive suggestions and valid complaints of employees in improving the workplace.

  • Means to tap the large reservoir of know-how and creativeness of employees.
  • A channel of communication with employees.
  • Enhancement of human factor in organizational effectiveness.

STEPS IN THE FORMULATION OF LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION PROGRAMS

  1. Orientation on labor-management cooperation
  2. Recognition of common objectives and problems and the need to cooperate and agree on mutually acceptable solution
  3. Determination of appropriate organizational structure
  4. Adoption of operating guidelines to govern the cooperation program
  5. Setting-up of the operating structure
  6. Training of persons involved in the cooperation program
  7. Identification and prioritization of problems
  8. Formulation and development of plans and projects
  9. Implementation of plans and projects
  10. Monitoring and evaluation of projects

GUIDELINES IN SETTING UP APPROPRIATE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Under R.A. 6715, the operating mechanism f labor-management cooperation program in organized establishments is called Labor-Management Council. In unorganized establishment, the mechanism is called Labor-Management Committees.

To ensure the orderly operations of the Council or the Committee, it is desirable that the parties agree on basic guidelines or principles which may include:

  • The objectives of the committee/council
  • Coverage of committee’s/council’s activities
  • Structure and size of the committee/council
  • Time, place, duration and frequency of meeting
  • Procedure for the timing and exchange of agenda
  • Recording, maintenance and dissemination of minutes of meetings
  • Other matters the parties may wish to include

ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE OF A LABOR-MANAGEMENT COUNCIL OR COMMITTEE

While there are no set rules, ‘a typical committee/ council has the following organizational features:

  • Composed of an adequate number of representatives from labor and management.
  • Labor representatives shall be elected by at least the majority of the workers in the establishment.
  • Management is represented by top level officials, the personnel or industrial relations manager, the production manager and other officers including supervisors.
  • There are two co-chairmen — one from each side who serve concurrently or on a rotating basis. A secretary is also appointed
  • A third party facilitator acceptable to tabor and management may assist the committee particularly in the early stages of its operation
  • Sub-committees may be formed to consider specific concerns at the shop-floor level.

THE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS

To ensure the non-adversarial character of the labor-management committee, issues should be addressed using the problem-solving process involving the following steps:

  • Define the problem
  • Get all the facts
  • Find the cause of the problem
  • Propose solutions
  • Evaluation proposed solutions
  • Select the best solution
  • Implement the corrective action
  • Evaluate the corrective action undertaken

THE ROLE OF THIRD PARTIES

Parties to a labor-management cooperative effort may require the services of a third party facilitator. At their invitation, a facilitator can assist in a variety of ways particularly in the initial stages, to wit:

  • Help enhance mutual trust between labor and management
  • Assist the parties in identifying common interests, problems and opportunities
  • Provide objectivity and encouragement to the committee
  • Guide the committee in problem-solving techniques
  • Provide technical assistance to the committee
  • Assist the parties obtain technical assistance from other agencies and institutions.

NCMB SERVICES ON LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION

Promotional Activities

  • Development, production and dissemination of IEC materials (NCMB Briefing Paper, Primer on Plant-Level LMC Program, posters/ stickers, jingles, sound slides/video)
  • symposia, seminar-workshop, conference
  • discussion groups/networking

Technical Assistance

  • Conduct of orientation seminar on LMC
  • Conduct of “LMC FACILITATORS’ TRAINING” – Interpersonal Relationship/Group Dynamic Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Needs Identification and Analysis
  • Problem-solving Skills
  • Value Formation
  • Setting up of labor-management cooperation mechanisms
  • Publication and Research “LMC AT WORK’
  • Action researches/studies