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FFW Operation Department


The Operations Department (OD) is FFW's organizing and consolidation arm. It fields full-time staff and volunteers to establish contacts and core groups, and eventually, organize unions in various firms and enterprises. Organizing in Luzon is carried out by Manila-based staff and volunteers. In the provinces, the regional offices in Cavite, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan and Iligan and Davao perform organizing and consolidation functions.

The functions of the OD go beyond routinary work. The OD's dynamism is greatly influenced by the growing needs of the local affiliates of the FFW and the developments in labor relations and in the trade union movement.

The FFW's continuing shift into a trade union-social movement and its thrusts toward strengthening industry-based trade federations (TFs) necessitated reviewing the Operations' direction and program thrusts.

The OD improves continuously undergoing structural and organizations reforms in an effort to develop its capabilities to better provide organizations, technical and support services to the workers and their organizations.

In the process, solidarity and cooperation have been harnessed as the different units of the FFW have collectively shared the impact of OD's restructuring. Educators of the Philippine Social Institute (PSI) and the staff members of the Legal Center assist in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and labor disputes. Conversely, organizers and staff of the Operations lend a hand in the preparation of legal documents and assisting in the conduct of seminars and training activities.

The Department has also been supported by labor relations practitioners from the different local union affiliates trained by the PSI and the Legal Center.

The restructuring drew positive results as an increasing number of FFW unions have become confident and improved their capacity to bargain collectively and handle labor-management disputes, without or with less intervention from FFW.

The Department has consistently encouraged the setting up of local union CBA research committees to prepare CBA proposals and to develop their technical skills for scientific negotiation such as presenting data, graphs, computation and analyses which area bases for union demands, and handling grievances.

Despite the positive gains, a number of problems have been encountered, like the changing labor market. Organizing workers in may companies becomes more difficult with the prevalence of unsecured and precarious forms of employment threatening the existence of unions at the plant level.

While there are increased efforts to provide better services, organizers and staff have focused attention on organizational campaigns in strategic industries, in compliance with the mandate of the Governing Board.

It is continuously embarking on the organization of unions in the industrial sector and preparing to consolidate affiliates from the non-traditional sectors, among which are farmers and rural community association, as well as federating local union-based cooperatives.


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