It was a case of two events joining as one.
In 2016 the Danish Trade Union Council for International Development Cooperation (LO/FTF) was discussing with the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) the implementation of the “Principles-based, inclusive and business sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility Project (PBIBSCSR).”
At that same time, the Allied Metals FFW chapter had a change in union leadership.
“The seeds of having a cooperative dialogue, instead of confrontational meetings started. The FFW was in sync with the aspect of the CSR being espoused by LO/FTF, especially with the principle of ‘charity begins at home.’ It meant no amount of CSR would be worth appreciating if workers’ rights are not respected. We in FFW suggested that ECOP be the employers’ partner for this initiative,” said Julius Cainglet, FFW vice-president.
Cainglet said the FFW introduced CSR to Allied Metals using a two-stage process, beginning with their Allied Metals FFW Chapter, and later reaching out to Allied Metals management.
“From October 24-25, 2016, the union agreed to take part in the Trainers’ Training on Principled, Inclusive and Sustainable CSR. Management was invited but they did not show up. A series of activities transpired but the union said management seemed not yet ready, especially since they were just beginning to implement a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) under a new leadership,” he explained.
Setting CSR in motion proved to be a study in patience and determination. After 12 months, in December 2017, the FFW finally met with the union leadership of Allied Metals Chapter, together with the other unions who wished to be a part of the CSR project as a pilot enterprise.
These unions were: Continental Temic Electronics (Phils) Inc., Vshay Philippines, II-VI Performance Metals, Allied Metals, Interphil Laboratories, Inc., Delfi Foods, and Globe.
Cainglet cleared, however, that Globe’s participation in the project was as a resource enterprise since Globe already had a very advanced CSR.
“I went to Allied Metals to convince the other union members about the CSR Project. We came up with a strategy for the union leadership to convince management to buy in the project. And we did,” he said.
By mid-January, the union set up a meeting between Allied Metals management and the FFW, together with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and LO/FTF. Its main objective: to collectively introduce PBIBSCSR to management and make them agree to become a partner and pilot enterprise.
During the meeting, they also agreed to prioritize Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and the Labor-Management Cooperation (LMC) as CSR Projects for the enterprise.
“To get the plans going, we identified in-house Basic OSH Training as the more urgent concern. So the FFW and the union tried to partner with the Occupational Safety and Health Center, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Since their training schedule was full, they advised us to go through the list of accredited Safety Training Organizations. That’s when the FFW and the union chose Peoples360 as the training provider.” Cainglet said.
FFW presented to management the finished training modules. Management suggested that the BOSH be conducted on Fridays so as not to greatly disrupt the production process. FFW agreed to the proposal.
Allied Management footed the bill for the training, while the CSR Project took care of the meals for several days. “I also took on modules, as with ECOP, for free,” he added.
Cainglet said there were many positive outcomes from the CSR trainings. “Among others, the OSH Committee was established as a direct result of the BOSH Training. Hazardous situations, especially those that posed imminent danger inside the factory were addressed.”
The Allied Metals OSH Committee regularly meets and continues to address the safety and health of workers and other employees.
Said Cainglet: “Not only did we get reports about it, we also saw the improvements ourselves.”
The LMC was likewise established following a seminar conducted by the CSR Project Team, together with the DOLE-National Conciliation and Mediation Board.
“We are confident safety and health at the workplace and labor relations concerns would continuously be addressed at Allied Metals. We plan to use this as a good example specially for medium enterprises through the next year,” Cainglet added. G (Psyche Roxas-Mendoza)