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Philippines: Strengthening research capacity of trade unions

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24 October, 2017Women and young workers from ten IndustriALL Global Union affiliates in the Philippines were trained in strategic corporate research at a workshop in Manila from 19-20 October. 

The training, which was supported by Swedish organization Union to Union, aimed to enhance trade unions’ skills in using strategic research to complement organizing and campaign work. The workshop trained a pool of corporate researchers that will network among each other to coordinate and share information.

The concept behind the training is to empower trade unions in the face of the growing influence of multinational corporations on global production. As profits are concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer corporate elites, the conditions of workers who toil in their production facilities gets worse. Very many major brands and multinational corporations are failing to take responsibility for their suppliers, which are denying workers the right to organize and bargain collectively.

To confront these challenges, unions need better skills to undertake research and information gathering on multinational corporations and their supply chains. This information can be used as leverage in their organizing campaign at the ground.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants agreed to work together and coordinate by setting up a network to share data and strategic research.

Tom Grinter, IndustriALL’s industry and research officer, who facilitated the workshop, said: 

“As corporations have changed over time, unions have to adopt to new realities and look for strategies where we can bring these corporations to the bargaining table. Undertaking corporate research and using that information strategically is a useful tool we can wield against multinational corporations.”