Message of the FFW President in 2013

Our warmest greetings to all FFW members and friends:

With more vigor, passion and enthusiasm, FFW welcomes the challenging year of 2013! This year, we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio (born in 1863), the great organizer of the Katipunan whose membership came mostly from the ranks of workers.

We hold that the workers can influence the course and direction of our future. Under Bonifacio, having humble means at its disposal, the Katipunan was able to expand and succeed in organizing the Filipinos into a potent force for social change. 

We believe in “the superiority of our humble material means over rich materials means” in empowering our workers! Thus, despite limited resources, we are rapidly expanding!

  1. Our newly organized 2,500-strong union in the Redsystem Corporation Inc. of Coca Cola and the 120-strong union in Acpak Corporation have on-going CBA negotiations which will hopefully be concluded early this year.

    Our new union in the specialist bargaining unit which covered about 80 employees of Johnson & Johnson was able to conclude a CBA last year.

    Though we lost in the certification election of the Philippine Aviation Security Services Corporation involving 1,500 workers; we were able to gain about 150 employees of the IRM Aviation Securities at the International Airport. Our FFW chapter in IRM is still struggling in its CBA negotiation with its management counter-part.  

    Our union in SR Metals in Tubay, Agusan del Norte, is still struggling to be recognized despite FFW won in a certification election. The refusal to bargain by the management led said FFW union to file a notice of strike which the Secretary of Labor and Employment assumed jurisdiction and directed that the labor dispute be resolved by compulsory arbitration through the NLRC in Cebu City.

    We won again at the certification election at the bargaining unit of the rank and file employees of the De La Salle Health and Science in Dasmarinas City but due to some questions on the inclusion of confidential employees, the FFW proclamation as winner is still pending with the Med-Arbitration Branch of Region IV-A.

  2. On January 2, 2013, the second day of the new year, we are happy to inform you that FFW filed two (2) petitions for certification elections.  

    • We filed a petition today at the DOLE office in Region IV-A. Four (4) days before 2012 ended, FFW organized a union in Prima Tech, a South Korean Semiconductor company which has two (2) plants near Batino Exit in Calamba. It has about 900 rank-and-file workers. 

    • Also,  we sent FFW Assistant Vice President Dan Laserna to Butuan City to file a petition for Certification Election at the supervisory bargaining unit of a company, the Agus Mill Plant in Trento, Agusan del Sur.

  3. We have another two (2) certification elections coming in the first month of the year.

    • On January 9, 2013, we will have a Certification election at Danna's Agricultural Plantation involving 80 workers in Sarangani; and

    • On January 28, 2013, our union of rank and file employees at Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation will be facing a certificate election involving 400 workers, in a number of ports all over the country.

      The FFW supervisory union in Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation involving more than a hundred workers will also be scheduled for certification election in February 2013

  4. We left 2012 on high notes and are happy to share some highlights over the last twelve months.

    • We concluded more than 20 collective bargaining agreements after the resolution of five (5) notices of strikes and several number of preventive mediations at the NCMB.

    • We won two (2) landmark decisions in the cases of Cirtek and Bayer before the Supreme Court.

      The outlook for FFW is looking bright with our focus on organizing and back to the basics like education and training of our members. We conducted one national financial administration and several leadership and paralegal courses with the support of DOLE, ILO, Education International (EI) and the BWI.

  5. Our image and projection as a strong and reliable labor organization have improved significantly.

    • FFW represented the workers in a number of local and international social dialogues.

    • The FFW president was the spokesperson of the workers during the Labor Day dialogue with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanang.

    • We became the Philippine workers' delegate to the 101st International Labor Conference in Geneva last June 2012.

    • It is noteworthy that many of these high profile and low profile but meaningful engagements have been captured by traditional mainstream mass media and online media.

  6. We are proud to congratulate our union in Temic Continental headed by TF-4 Chair Alvin Gonzales for being proclaimed as “a union like no other union”. Among the unions of Temic Continental all over the world, our FFW local chapter in the Philippines was chosen as the best union with no equal.

    Also, “the best LMC” all over the country is the Labor Management Council (LMC) of our union in Temic Semiconductor under the leadership of Sonia Balgos, who is also the President of our FFW Women Network. Both add another feather on FFW’s hat and our congratulations! Yet again, this is proof that FFW continues to enjoy the respect of its social partners.

  7. We projected a respectable image as a responsible trade union in a number of fora.

    FFW initiated labor solidarity in two (2) fronts with the TUCP, BMP and APL through NAGKAISA; and with KMU and other unions through the ACT2WIN.

    We congratulate TF-III under the chairmanship of Bong Marcelo for its admission as Philippine affiliate of IndustriALL late last year. Other than the ITUC and ITUC-AP, FFW is now affiliated to three (3) global unions: BWI, Education International and IndustriALL

    Meanwhile, the FFW continues to chair and convene the Asian Labor Network on IFIs, which has chapters in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.

  8. About 30 of our leaders and members are facing criminal cases involving, related to or arising from their union activities. Criminal charges for union or related activities are badges  of  honor for unionists.

    To name a few of those unionists  who were charged with criminal offenses, among others: Union President Rico Garcia of Hyatt Taxi is facing illegal position of fire arms and falsification of public document in Las Pinas City; Union Board Member Wilfredo Cerillo of Hyatt Taxi for Arson in Las Pinas; Union President Mark Cesar of Southridge for falsification of public document in Las Pinas City; Union President Julius Barnachea of J&J for perjury and falsification of commercial document in Manila and Makati; FFW Staff Jocelyn Nono of Davao City is facing libel for his protest utterances in the picket line at Holy Cross Printing Press; and Union Vice President Raniel Arguelles of A.B. Liner for qualified theft in Camarines Norte.   

    The FFW legal center is handling these cases pro bono in addition to its more than 200 active labor cases now docketed or pending before the DOLE, NLRC, CA and SC. There are other cases being handled by FFW retainer lawyers in the provinces.

  9. The FFW sustained its key role in tripartism by actively engaging its social partners and meaningfully participating in tripartite social dialogue mechanisms such as the National  Tripartite Industrial Peace Council and its counterparts in the region and industries.

  10. Further, we are also involved not only in our traditional union activities but also in social enterprises augmenting the income of our workers by giving them opportunity to venture into livelihood projects like Botika sa Barangay for workers and birthing clinics for midwives through the Kaunlarang Manggagawang Pilipino Inc (KMPI); as well as in agrarian reform and organic farming through our projects with the Center for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (CARRD).

  11. The FFW continues to sit at the National Child Labor Committee, as it also chairs the Child Labor Knowledge Sharing System (CLKSS), the online platform of all information pertaining to child labor in the country. With the assistance of the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC), the FFW is mainstreaming child labor programs in workers’ activities especially for trade unions in the provinces of Quezon and Bukidnon.

  12. Together with other trade unions, FFW was instrumental in the ratification of ILO Convention 189 (Decent work for Domestic Workers) and the passage in Congress of the Kasambahay Law. FFW Assistant Vice President Julius Cainglet with the Philippine Technical Working Group had made very good ground working to usher said ratification and legislation.

    The FFW also endorsed the ratification on the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) which the Senate concurred mid-last year.

    The ILO Convention 189 serves as the Bill of Rights for our estimated 2.5 million household service workers; while MLC 2006 for almost 400,000 Filipino seafarers worldwide. Both Conventions provide enhanced social protection for our workers like compliance with minimum working hours and other decent working conditions, among others

  13. We successfully coordinated the National Trade Union Conference on Domestic Workers with the support of the Fredrick Ebert Stiftung. We also successfully conducted three (3) conferences on Social Dialogue and Dispute Resolution with the Support of LO-Denmark through the Philippine Employer and Labor Social Partnership Inc.

  14. We have been experiencing difficulties in our finances as we rely more on our union dues collection. But even without outside support, FFW was able to extend solidarity (even outside its members) with victims of the Typhoons Sendong and Pablo through the direct contributions and supports of our local unions and local friends.   Our trade union humanitarian initiative had translated not just in a generous outpouring of resources but in raising the spirit of volunteerism among our members and our local friends.

    Our Vice President for Luzon Bowie Maranan and President of FFW Women Network Sonia Balgos led in a fund raising activity for the purchase of office equipment for FFW. Vice President for Visayas Amy Campos and Vice President for Mindanao Aida Brillante led the fund raising for the victims of Sendong last year, with FFW affiliates in Mindanao also sustaining social development programs for CDO.  

  15. Mutual support among our members and officers was the key to our success in our activities in 2012. If we continue to work together as one and united FFW, we will achieve more success in 2013 that will benefit not only our members but also the other workers who are not yet members of our unions.

    Our commitment to organize unions, to a united labor movement and to uphold the dignity of labor can be more effectively promoted by our continuous and regular payment of our union dues to FFW. Our dues are the lifeblood of our Federation. Our dues are our humble material means to accomplish our noble mission to protect and advance the interest of the workers!

  16. Other than your financial support, your volunteerism, contributing your time and efforts, to the causes and activities of the FFW inspires our staff and members to walk the extra miles and do more.

    There may be some impersonal forces that tend to influence history. But, when I look at the life of Rizal, Bonifacio, Isabelo Delos Reyes, Johnny Tan and Fr. Walter Hogan, SJ, I feel that the course of history is ran by people and not only by impersonal forces. You and FFW can make a difference in the lives of our people!

    As President of FFW, I am grateful for your continuous support and solidarity. Maraming maraming salamat sa inyo mga kasama! May God continue to guide us in our mission! Mabuhay ang FFW. Mabuhay ang manggagawang Pilipino!

    FFW President
    January 3, 2013



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