Labor dinosaur

LET’S be brutally frank about it. Unionism is a thing of the past.

Outsourcing has made trade unionism a superfluity. We have seen the evolution of the employees’ union at the Philippine Air Lines. It has become a toothless tiger that could only growl, but not bite.

This should not have happened. But trade union leaders, including those at PALEA, hardly saw the rise of outsourcing – or subcontracting – as the preferential mode of labor relations. They were too involved in their ideological infighting. By the time outsourcing has become the pervasive mode, union leaders could hardly catch their breath.

The result is disastrous. Hardly 200,000 of unionized workers have collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). It’s bad enough that less than 20 percent of the workers in a labor surplus economy like ours have unions. But it’s so bad when less than 10 percent of the unionized workers have CBAs.

Moreover, they hardly moved to effect amendments to the Labor Code, which dictator Ferdinand Marcos signed into law 36 years ago. The Labor is supposed to be the national CBA. But in its current form, it is hardly responsive to the workers’ interest.

Trade union leaders should have seen the handwriting on the wall some 10, 15, or 20 years ago. But they lack the vision. Essentially incompetent, these labor leaders insisted on engaging in fratricidal conflicts that have tended to divide rather than unite the workers.

In the end, trade unionism has become a dinosaur. It has become a baggage in an essentially competitive global economic order. Labor leaders continue to think along the lines of their outmoded ideologies, never knowing that unionism has become irrelevant.

After sabotaging operations and inflicting damages to the riding public how can they win? And now they want to go back? yeah fine. Go and crawl back to your mothers’ wombs!


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