What is Ecop?

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ECOP stands for Employers Confederation of the Philippines. It was established on 1 May 1974 during martial law.

Employers in most market economies in the world have found it necessary to form or join an organization to represent them in articulating mutual advocacies, protect their interest and take collective action on common issues.

This need has been spurred by intensified trade competition in the global market and domestic threat due to aggressive posturing by militant labor groups and prejudicial policies against employers.

There are three main types of employer organization.

First, the sectoral and national chambers of commerce and industry such as Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. and several others.

Second are organizations whose role is solely representation in the field of labor relations, direct interaction with workers and their unions.

Government intervention in capital and labor issues led to the development of tripartism. Most countries, which are members of the International Labor Organization or ILO, have adopted tripartism as a matter of policy or practice.

ECOP was created in response to the emergence of trade unions. ECOP represents its members in negotiating for fair labor and social policies before lawmaking bodies, the Department of Labor and international tripartite bodies.

ECOP is recognized as the single voice of employers to safeguard and enhance their interest in all areas of labor-management relations, participate in crafting state policies on social and economic matters and promote industrial harmony and social justice.

Third are organizations which combine the representation of the first and second type such as People Management Association of the Philippines and other similar groups.

After ECOP’s founding in 1974 and the next 11 years, it operated within the restrictive framework of conduct laid down during the martial law. In those years ECOP and its counterpart labor groups played a passive role and merely reacted to events as they unfolded.

After the EDSA revolution of 1986 and the return of democratic rule, there was an upsurge of union militancy. This resulted in an unprecedented break out of more than 1,000 strikes that caused the exodus of large multinational companies during the first year under the revolutionary government.

Because of the growing number of strikes, business increasingly turned to ECOP as the medium to air its concerns on labor, mediate with government on employment matters and deal with militant unions.

With the adoption of the Freedom Constitution presaging the return to constitutional democracy and despite a series of coup attempts, the country began to emerge in a fast-changing world of global trade.

Under the relentless process of globalization labor and industrial relations are increasingly being implicated in economic and trade policies.

This raises the question of the need to merge ECOP and PCCI similar to the unification in Australia, Finland, Ireland and Norway. It was believed that a merged organization would be stronger and give better services for members.

Because of the tight tripartite partnership with labor, ECOP was able to establish a smooth relation with the workers’ unions, including the militant groups.

But such merger is unsuitable in the Philippine context because of fragmented labor movement dominated by militancy, intra/inter union disputes, adversarial positions of labor and capital and regulatory intervention by government.

Because of the tight tripartite partnership with labor, ECOP was able to establish a smooth relation with the workers’ unions, including the militant groups.

ECOP has a wide and growing membership base composed of almost all leading business organizations, affiliates, sustaining members, and regional, provincial and city chapters.

In fine, ECOP is a critical catalyst in the crafting of progressive labor and social policies that serve the best interest of its members and the economic development of the country.

Member companies remain steadfast in ECOP because it is an organization where they are proud to believe and belong.

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