WORKPLACE RELATIONS AND ENHANCEMENT
(FORMERLY LABOR-MANAGEMENT COOPERATION PROGRAM)
- Conduct plant-level orientation seminars and skills training on LMC;
- Facilitate the setting up, re-activation and strengthening of plant-level LMCs;
- 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
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?
- Direct participation mechanisms through small group activities like quality control circles or productivity improvement circles
- Indirect participation mechanisms through joint consultative bodies like labor-management councils or committees
- 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?
- sincerity – mutual support
- mutual trust – openness
- commitment – teamwork
- mutual respect – objectivity
- leadership – facilitation
- communication – team building
- problem-solving – planning
- 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
- Orientation on labor-management cooperation
- Recognition of common objectives and problems and the need to cooperate and agree on mutually acceptable solution
- Determination of appropriate organizational structure
- Adoption of operating guidelines to govern the cooperation program
- Setting-up of the operating structure
- Training of persons involved in the cooperation program
- Identification and prioritization of problems
- Formulation and development of plans and projects
- Implementation of plans and projects
- 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
- 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
- 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