From Core to Periphery? Recent Developments in Employment Relations in the Philippines

28 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2003

See all articles by Christopher L. Erickson

Christopher L. Erickson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Human Resources & Organizational Behavior (HROB) Area

Sarosh Kuruvilla

Cornell University

Rene E. Ofreneo

University of the Philippines - School of Labor and Industrial Relations

Maria Asuncion Ortiz

Employers Confederation of the Philippines

Abstract

We seek to describe recent developments in employment relations in the Philippines, placing these developments in the contexts of the distinctive elements of the Philippine social/political/industrial relations systems as well as the ongoing trade-based and functional integration of international markets and the recent regional economic crisis. We find that while some firms are pursuing functional flexibility and more cooperative employment relations, the logic of competition primarily has induced firms to adopt practices that promote numerical flexibility such that a core-periphery workforce is created. We argue that the labor movement in the Philippines has been hampered in its efforts to effectively counter employer strategies by its low density and fragmentation and an unfavorable public-policy environment; Philippine labor unions have, however, made some recent gains in organizing and inter-union coordination. We also argue that the government has not done enough to counteract the negative effects of market integration on workers nor to evolve the Philippines into a higher-value-added exporter.

Suggested Citation

Erickson, Christopher L. and Kuruvilla, Sarosh and Ofreneo, Rene E. and Ortiz, Maria Asuncion, From Core to Periphery? Recent Developments in Employment Relations in the Philippines. Industrial Relations, Vol. 42, pp. 368-395, July 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=416148

Christopher L. Erickson (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Human Resources & Organizational Behavior (HROB) Area ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
310-825-1697 (Phone)
310-825-0218 (Fax)

Sarosh Kuruvilla

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-6735 (Phone)
607-255-7774 (Fax)

Rene E. Ofreneo

University of the Philippines - School of Labor and Industrial Relations ( email )

Pedro R. Sandoval Ave
Los Banos, Laguna 4031
Philippines

Maria Asuncion Ortiz

Employers Confederation of the Philippines ( email )

Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines

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