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Online Mediation Successful in Philippines Labor Case

Monday, October, 3, 2011

Online mediation is the most recent example of how the advent of the World Wide Web has changed business and commerce in profound ways.  It used to be the case that when it came to alternative dispute mediation, the parties had to talk face to face or at the very least, through intermediaries who could be in the same room together.  Now, however, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) in the East Asian island nation of the Philippines has reported that it used Skype, an online teleconferencing tool, to enable online mediation to take place. 


Online Mediation Resolved to Satisfaction of 13 Workers


At issue in the case was a complaint by 13 workers of the Surigao Marine Products Company.  The workers were seeking compensation in the form of separation benefits after having been let go from their employment. 

“The online settlement was one of the most innovative ways of handling cases through the SENA [Single Entry Approach Mechanism, designed to avert lawsuits by helping the parties reach a settlement out of court] and certainly, lines it up as a best practice that other regional offices ought to consider and emulate,” said Rosalinda Baldoz, the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

In the end, the 13 workers received a settlement that ranks as the highest of its type ever achieved in the local area where they lived.  Moreover, they did it all without having "their day in court" thanks to the process of labor mediation and in particular, online mediation.