The Philippine Labor Movement and the Law

Cite as: 47 Ateneo L.J. 899 (2003)
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This Article seeks to present the relations between the labor movement and the government through a history of their interaction, an analysis of the recent developments in light of globalization, and a recommendation on responses of the legislature.

First, the evolution of Philippine labor movement was traced from the later years of Spanish colonization to the late 1990s. It is noted that worker marginalization is the center of rise of ideological and bureaucratic networks that are an integral part of Philippine labor movement. This led to laborers organizing as a collective to protect the rights violated by such marginalization.

The Author cites a change in the conservative, non-proactive policies of the government and the business sector with regard to the protection of these rights. He also points to globalization as a deterrent to the development of the labor movement, citing the increasing number of unconcluded Collective Bargaining Agreements and under-employed workers. Therefore, it is in this context that legal frameworks need to be reassessed and alternative responses be formulated.

Currently, there are three possible directions for reform from different perspectives: the employers, the academe, and the laborers. In line with this, the Author recommends that employers be more informed with regard to their rights and responsibilities under labor and that laborers be more aware of the effects of globalization.

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