TUCP pushes for green jobs, decent work
By Fryan E. Abkilan
Surigao del Norte (28 May) -- A national workshop for green jobs and decent work was successfully held in Bacolod City recently. Organized by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) with support from Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF), the activity documented information on workplace and community-based green jobs and greening practices to contribute to national efforts in developing a green sustainable development strategy in the framework of creating green jobs and promoting decent work.
"TUCP is one with the government in search for practical ways to adapt to climate change," said TUCP General Secretary Ernesto Herrera.
Also, the workshop sought to push the problem of climate change as a mainstream environmental issue in the workplace and the community.
As climate change being the greatest challenge facing the world today, Herrera urged everyone to act promptly. "If we don't do anything, temperature will continue to rise," he said.
Understanding Green Jobs and Decent Work
TUCP Deputy General Secretary Cedric Bagtas defined green jobs, "as jobs that sustains people and the environment."
He maintained that green jobs can be found in the so called green sectors that include renewable energy (versus fossil fuel energy), public mass transportation (versus road transportation), recycling & pollution control, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management, among others. He, however, said that not all green jobs are necessarily decent jobs.
"Many green jobs are done in conditions that will be considered 'indecent' – low pay, no social protection, poor health and safety standards, exploitative employment relationships & gross violations of employment rights," Bagtas added.
He stressed that greening should extend to existing jobs that are indecent by all definitions, and that greater efforts should be devoted toward green practices seeking to modify indecent work.
Meanwhile, Socio-Policy Division Director Bro. Toyoji Sugiyama of Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) in his presentation stressed that green jobs lessen the environmental impact of enterprises and economic sectors, ultimately to levels that are sustainable.
Sugiyama said that JTUC has called for "just transition" for those affected by a change to a green economy and for those who must adapt to climate change with access to alternative economic and employment opportunities to union workers.
What the JTUC sees for green jobs according to Sugiyama is "employment generation plan for 1.8 million people," from healthcare, job assistance and employment, education to sustainable agriculture, fishery and forestry sector.
Meantime, as part of the output in the said activity, the participants drafted tools: 1) checklist on green jobs and green practices; and 2) Trade Union Policy on Green Jobs and Decent Work, to guide workers and their organizations in identifying priorities and implementing greening improvements.
Some 25 participants from target sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, mining and energy production, plantation, and/or federation in charge of workers' education and research in Luzon, selected areas in Visayas and Mindanao actively participated in the said program. (PIA-Surigao del Norte) [top]