Work Stoppage & Other Counter-Productive Labor Activities

Work stoppage—known as “strike” by employees or “lockout” by the employer—is not favoured in law. It is recognized as a legal right but regulated as to the purpose and manner of doing it. Deviation from the mandatory requirements has adverse consequences to the violators. Work stoppage, because it is counter-productive, is and has to be considered a measure of last resort. The principle behind labor unionism in private industry is that industrial peace cannot be secured through compulsion by law. Relations between private employers and their employees rest on an essentially voluntary basis. Subject to the minimum requirements of wage laws and other labor and welfare legislation, the terms and conditions of employment in the unionized private sector are settled through the process of collective bargaining. Because labor relations are primarily “domestic,” third parties, even the Government, shy away from meddling, as much as it can be helped. This is why an in-house problem solving structure, called grievance machinery, is a requirement in CBAs. If this machinery fails, the parties themselves are free to select any third party, called voluntary arbitrator, to resolve their differences. The laws, as a force that balances the parties’ rights and obligations, are admittedly necessary in the industrial setting. (Azucena, C. A. (2013). The Labor Code: with Comments and Cases (Vol. 2). National Book Store.)

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