National Conciliation and Mediation Board

Regional Branch No. 5

28 May 2018


“Communication is key.  If there is no communication then there is no respect.  If there is no respect then there is no caring. If there is no caring then there is no understanding. If there is no understanding then there is no compassion. If there is no compassion then there is no empathy. If there is no empathy then there is no forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness then there is no kindness. If there is no kindness then there is no honesty. If there is no honesty then there is no love. If there is no love then God doesn’t reside there. If God doesn’t reside there then there is no peace. If there is no peace then there is no happiness. If there is no happiness —- then THERE IS CONFLICT BECAUSE THERE IS NO COMMUNICATION!”
Shannon L. Alder

Little did Regional Branch 5 Director Reynaldo Foncardas of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board expect that the case filed by the union of an electric cooperative (EC) against its employer will be settled in just one conciliation conference.

“My original plan is to let them sit in a meeting and validate first the issues raised by the union,” said Director Foncardas who also sat as the Conciliator-Mediator of the case.

“As it turned out, the parties were just waiting for a venue to air their sides.  After letting-off the steam from both parties by giving them chance to explain or justify their proposals or counter-proposals in the negotiation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), they finally realized that they just have to talk with each other to settle their differences.”

“The issues were just simple.  But when the management of the EC saw the number of demands of the union, they were hesitant to negotiate with the Union.”

“However, during the conciliation, wherein all the proposals were discussed one-by-one – all of the 13 issues, the parties realized that all of those can be lumped in just three concerns, as they correlate or are aligned to the same related issues,” Director Foncardas continued.

“As a Conciliator-Mediator, we just acted as a medium that helped the parties arrived at an agreed outcome.  As much as possible, we conduct our meetings as informal and as non-confrontational as possible.  The agreements reached during conciliation is mutually considered by both parties,”

“I am happy that we were able to thresh out the problems of the two parties by giving them an avenue for airing their sides on matters that affect them both.”

“We at the Branch realized the importance of communication in settling disputes between employees and employers or between labor and management.”

“We prevented the case from growing into a full-blown dispute.  That is why we advised that the EC’s Labor and Management Cooperation (LMC) Council be utilized fully so that they can have a harmonious relationship through continuous and sustained communication between them,” ended Director Foncardas.

LMC is a state of relations where labor and management work hand-in-hand to accomplish certain goals using mutually acceptable means.  It serves as a channel of communication between management and labor.  It promotes cooperation between partners.

Truly communication paves the way for settling issues by discussing them in a venue where they can exchange ideas.


Prepared by:




Senior LEO/LIO-designate







Regional Branch Director