Workers rights in the Philippines
Lead NCPUnited States
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), a Philippines-based trade union confederation, regarding the activities of Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc.,operating in the Philippines.
Theme(s)Employment and industrial relations
Date14 May 2013
Host country(ies)Philippines
SourceTrade Union
Industry sectorHuman health and social work activities
StatusNot accepted
Summary

Read the final statement issued by the US NCP concluding the specific instance - 8 November 2013


In May 2013, the US NCP received a request for a review from the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), a Philippines-based trade union confederation, alleging that Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc., a corporation incorporated in the Philippines and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), had breached employment and industrial relations provisions of the Guidelines in the Philippines.

FFW claimed that managers at Janssen’s sales office in Paranaque City, the Philippines, set unreasonable sales performance benchmarks which they used as a pretext to dismiss certain workers. While Janssen maintains the workers were dismissed because they failed to meet the performance benchmarks, FFW claims the workers were dismissed for engaging in unionizing activities. FFW contended these actions were inconsistent with the principles of the Guidelines. On 6 June, the NCP received Janssen’s formal response, in which Janssen disputed FFW’s characterization of its managers’ actions and provided evidence to support its stance.

The NCP determined that the issues raised in the specific instance do not merit further examination and declined to offer good offices to seek a mediated resolution between FFW and Janssen. FFW provided insufficient substantiation to support its allegations. Further, Philippine arbitrators have determined Janssen had justification for dismissing or seeking the resignation of the employees identified by FFW and found no evidence of company retaliation because of the union officials’ positions or activities. The same allegations have been considered and decided, in some cases several times, by multiple levels of the Philippine court and labour arbitration system, who found no evidence of company retaliation because of the union officials’ positions or activities.

While court and arbitral decisions alone do not necessarily preclude the involvement of the NCP, in the absence of stronger substantiated concerns that Janssen policies or practices may be inconsistent with the cited provisions of the Guidelines, the NCP concluded that its involvement would not further the effectiveness of the Guidelines.