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Philippine unions unite for year ahead

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27 January, 2015IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliates in the Philippines committed to building unity and sustainable trade unions during an annual evaluation and planning meeting this month. 

Leaders from 14 trade union affiliates gathered in Quezon City on 23 and 24 January for a joint meeting organized by IndustriALL and Swedish trade union organization LO-TCO.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Fernando Lopes and Erik Anderson from Swedish trade union IF-METALL discussed the key achievements of the union building project in the Philippines as well as strategies to improve activity implementation.

With more focus on organizing workers in 2015, the participants devised a concrete action plan of activities guided by three golden rules for organizing - increasing capacity, improving financial structures and strengthening democracy in each organization.

Leaders committed to conduct national joint activities complementary to organizing drives and vowed to sustain a unified campaign on critical issues such as the fight against precarious work and supporting legislative measures securing workers’ rights.

To complete the mission in the Philippines, IndustriALL Geneva and South East Asia officers visited affiliates from the metal sector on 26 January 2015 at their respective offices.

Coinciding with the council of leaders meeting of the Philippine Metalworkers Alliance (PMA), the federation leadership provided an update on the struggle of their five local union affiliates who are facing harassment and grave violations of workers’ rights by their employers.

Fernando Lopes expressed his solidarity on behalf of IndustriALL for PMA affiliates and committed to support the campaign launch at the national, regional and global level.

In the meeting with Metalworkers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP), the discussion focused on the recent success at NXP as an outcome of the global campaign last year. NXP local union officers revealed there will be significant positive changes in the coming days. However, Lopes warned against complacency following the victory: “Let us guard our ranks so that what happened in the past shall be avoided,” he said.