KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 1, 2011) - The Associated Labor Unions - Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) and the Cotabato Provincial Government Employees Association (COTGEM) signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Friday in Kidapawan City in Mindanao.
ALU was represented by its National President Atty. Democrito T. Mendoza and National Executive Vice President Cecilio T. Seno, while COTGEM was represented by its President Teotimo S. Paguican and Executive Vice President Ricarlo P. Adeja.
Both groups agreed to forge unity and solidarity among government and private sector workers in the struggle for decent work for all.
COTGEM conducted its Certification Assembly at the Provincial Capitol Compound and in various district hospitals in March and thru Resolution No. 015 signified its intention to enter into an affiliation with the Associated Labor Unions. COTGEM has around 1,000 membership.
ALU, on the other hand, was issued a certificate of registration as a legitimate labor organization in July 1954 and has about 150,000 land and sea-based members across industries.
It belongs to the biggest labor center in the country and has affiliations with Global Union Federations such as the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Building and Wood Workers’ International, International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation and Union Network International.
The two parties agree on exchange of technical expertise, mutual education, participation in respective activities not contrary to law, and assistance in trade union leadership, advocacy work, protection of rights and promotion of well-being of workers and their families.
As the federation, ALU shall provide services to COTGEM. It shall assist COTGEM in any of its election and in negotiations for Collective Negotiation Agreement with the Provincial Government of Cotabato.
Other services include basic legal services and counseling in work-related cases; basic medical, dental and health services; welfare benefits; and discounts in facilities owned and operated by ALU. However, ALU and COTGEM shall not only advance the economic interests of COTGEM but also promote the social, moral and spiritual well-being of the latter and its members.
The new alliance still guarantees the rights of both ALU and COTGEM to perform acts in accordance with their respective Constitution and By-Laws.
Coinciding with the Memorandum of Affiliation signing, ALU also inaugurated its new district office in Kidapawan City which will effectively respond to the needs of its growing members in the city and nearby provinces.
Kidapawan City now adds to the list of ALU offices in Davao City, Cebu City, Dumaguete, Eastern Visayas, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan, Bataan, Baguio City and Quezon City.
The TUCP Party List has also put up a satellite office in this City where constituents can dialogue with Representative Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza or his authorized representatives. The Union and the Party List are encouraging more workers in North Cotabato to exercise their rights to organize and collective bargaining, and to competently and effectively participate in decision-making processes at enterprise and societal levels.
Officers and members of both COTGEM and ALU local unions in Southern Mindanao were present during the signing and office inauguration.
National, regional and provincial officials who graced the event also included COTGEM Founding President Reynaldo Campo, ALU National Vice President for Membership Recruitment and Services Gerard R. Seno, ALU Area Vice President for Visayas Michael C. Mendoza, Area Vice President for Luzon Cecilio R. Seno, Congressman Raymond Mendoza, National Vice President for Operations German Pascua and DYLA Station Manager Zosimo Tagalog Jr.