She advised government to remain neutral so that the tripartite system involving management, labor, and government will work.
The academe, she said, has taken steps to “creating avenues” for a dialog with the management and the labor sectors to thresh out their commonality without trying to change their inherent conflict of interest. “We work on commitment but we could not totally eradicate the conflict of interest,” she said. “Whether we are successful or not, that remains to be seen.”
Ellson said there is now a new trend on industrial relations, where labor assumes three identities — as worker, as management, and as owner. Leading this trend are workers in Basque, Spain, where plantation workers own and manage the company.
She said the Basque model would be a good model for Mindanao.
The UP professor is heading a research into the best practices of alternative industrial relations in Southern Mindanao, giving emphasis on the successful agrarian reform communities (ARCs) that have already marketed their products overseas.
She said the study would mainly assess the sustainability and feasibility of the agrarian reform beneficiaries that established a cooperative and running their own business. The research would cover 20 percent of the total plantation of ARCs in the Davao region and normally would take five years to finish. The results would then be distributed to the different government agencies for proper action.