Project Proposal Strengthening Social Movement Unionism in Cebu I. Background Ten years ago, the APL was founded as an alternative labor center with a very clear vision of an egalitarian society an appropriate strategy on how to get there – through social movement unionism. It has taken upon itself the mission to “organize Filipino working people into various forms of organizations and to consolidate and strengthen the same along industry, sectoral and geographical lines toward the advancement and protection of workers interests through the transformation of social and property relations” (APL Strategy Paper). After a decade, the APL has succeeded in building a robust movement of workers from all walks of life – formal and informal, white collar and blue collar, employed and unemployed and even migrant workers abroad. But more remains to be done. While the APL mass membership has grown from 20,000 to 43,120 (as of July 2008), it is still far from having the critical mass to be able to effectively act as a fulcrum in the Philippine labor movement and effect any meaningful changes in the inequitable societal structures that continue to imprison large swatches of the working class under poverty, powerlessness and desperation. Meanwhile, the Philippine labor movement remains weak. Severely hampered by a Labor Code imposed during the Marcos dictatorship and repressed by a moribund Arroyo regime, the labor movement continues to be deeply divided along ideological lines even as trade unions are losing membership due to the prevalence of precarious work. This is why, after experiencing two political upheavals in two decades, the country finds itself once again in a deep political crisis. And as the crisis exacerbates, the working people are slowly realizing the need to address the very root of the crisis – the system itself. This is a unique situation for the entire labor movement, in general, and the APL in particular, to rapidly accumulate forces through social movement unionism. It is in this light that the APL leadership has decided to embark on a strategic initiative to strengthen social movement unionism in selected cities around the country through “comprehensive organizing”. Comprehensive organizing is a holistic organizing approach. It is an organizing framework that ensures that workers effectively participate in building and maintaining all the needed instruments for social movement unionism in a particular territory: the unions established along industry and territorial lines; electoral party; cooperatives; women’s movement; youth organization; etc. It is in support of most of these key strategic initiatives that this project is being proposed. This project builds upon the gains of the pilot project started in 2008. II. Project Proponent: The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) is one of the major labor centers in the Philippines. It was founded in 1996 with members in the formal and informal sector. The APL adopted a strategy called social movement unionism. The ultimate aim of this strategy is to transform the inequitable social structures in the country. To do so, the strategy calls for the formation of various types of unions and consolidate the same along industrial and territorial lines. The strategy also calls for workers’ participation in various arenas of struggle: mass movement; parliamentary; developmental; ideological; etc. Thus apart from organizing various types of unions to embrace all types of workers in the formal and informal sectors, the APL also believes that it is part of its task to help establish a workers’ party as well as a workers’ cooperative movement. In 1998, two after APL was founded, the labor center helped establish Akbayan Party. Akbayan currently has 1 representative in Congress. Meanwhile, the APL is helping LEARN to establish a workers’ cooperative movement. LEARN stands for Labor Education and Research Network. It is an NGO established by several unions after the Marcos dictatorship to help strengthen the labor movement through workers’ education. APL’s principal address is at 94 Sct. Delgado St., Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City Philippines. It has yet to establish a regional office in Cebu City. III. Overall Development Goal: The project will contribute to the APL’s general thrust of strengthening the capacity of social movement unionism in the Philippines to democratically defend and advance the rights and welfare of the working class. IV. Project Goals and Indicators: Goals Indicators 1. APL Cebu has implemented 1.1.APL Cebu’s mass membership has “comprehensive organizing” in its increased by at least 1,000 (formal area of responsibility. and informal sectors). 1.2.The APL Cebu has assisted its affiliates in its organizing and collective bargaining initiatives. 2. APL has increased workers’ 2.1. APL Cebu has fully functional participation in the parliamentary Political Action Committee arena. (PACs) in all its affiliates. 2.2. A fully functional Akbayan Labor structure was established in at least one District of Cebu City. 2.3.Has started establishing a workers’ bailiwick in at least 1 barangay1. 3. APL has improved its financial 3.1.At least 30% of the mass members sustainability. are dues-paying members by the end of 2009. V. Planned Results and Indicators: Planned Results Indicators 1. APL Cebu is able to organize 1.1. Recruited at least 1 trade union effectively and meet its recruitment affiliate into APL. targets for 2009. 1.2. Established a union in one enterprise with at least 100 members. 1.3. Established a federation of community-based workers’ organizations with a total membership of at least 500. 1.4. Convened the APL Women commission with at least 100 members. 1.5. Recruited least 100 new members into APL Youth. 1.6. Recruited at least 200 transport workers into NCTU. 2. APL Cebu is well prepared to 2.1. Has completed a membership- mobilize its members for the 2010 mapping database. national and local elections. 2.2. At least 75 members have participated in Labor Vote Seminars. 2.3. At least 20 leaders have committed to volunteer as electoral campaigners for 2010. 2.4. Developed at least one electoral cadre who would run as a candidate. 1 Barangay is the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines. 3. APL Cebu has improved its 1.1. Territorial Chapter (TC) organs, administrative capabilities. including education, organizing and other committees, meet on a monthly basis. 1.2. Membership updates are regularly and properly collected. 1.3. Database on membership education are regularly updated. VI. Project Activities To achieve the objectives set above, the following activities shall be implemented in 2009: 1. Carried out social investigations for target expansion. 2. Conducted twelve (12) Pre-union Membership Orientation Courses. 3. Held five (5) Basic Trade Union Seminars 4. One (1) leadership training for those organizing a union. 5. Providing legal services in support of organizing. 6. One (1) Leaders’ Planning and Evaluation Conference. 7. One (1) youth camp. 8. One (1) women leaders’ conference. 9. One (1) conference of community-based workers’ organizations. 10. Three (3) Labor Vote Seminars. 11. One (1) Territorial Assembly. It should be noted that this project dovetails with the APL’s project cooperation with LO Norway, which is primarily aimed at supporting the labor center’s campaigns and mobilizations. Thus this project supports APL’s organizing work in Cebu, while the LO Norway takes care of mass education and mass campaigns. VII. Description of Project Activities: 1. Organizing Activities. This pertains to the direct organizing work in enterprises, factories or offices employing at least 200 workers. The activities related to this part shall include: 1.1. Social Investigation. This is the gathering of information related to the enterprise to be organized (business status, employers, employees profile, company culture, etc.) and the analysis of data obtained for effective organizing strategies, tactics and approaches. 1.2. Contact Building. This is the establishment and building of contacts with workers in the target enterprises. It shall include visits to the workers’ houses and “hang-outs” as well as the tracing of workers’ relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. 1.3. Core Group Formation/Meetings. Once contacts have been established, the core group shall be organized thru a series of meetings, conscientization activities, study circles, mobilizations and other “deepening” activities, which will develop the commitment and dedication of workers in organizing a trade union. 1.4. Recruitment. The core group leaders will then convince and recruit their co-workers to join the trade union formation through small meetings, study circles and conscientization activities. 1.5. Seminars and Propaganda. Pre-union Membership Orientation Course as well as Basic Trade Union Seminars shall be held for the newly recruited members. 1.6. General Assemblies of Workers. Once a sufficient number of workers have been recruited to join the trade union formation, a general assembly shall be organized to formalize the trade union thru the adoption of its constitution and by-laws and election of officers. 1.7. Campaign for Trade Union Recognition. This is the most difficult part in union organizing -- the recognition of the trade union by the employer. The trade union organizers and leaders shall make sure that their members would remain loyal to the union and at the same time prevent employers from terminating them as they await for the election day to certify the trade union as the “sole and exclusive bargaining agent” in the enterprise. In the Philippines, trade union recognition by the employer and government depends on the so-called “certification elections” from which the workers in a particular company votes the trade union which they want to represent them in the collective negotiations for the 5-year period. Various activities such as small and big meetings, distribution of propaganda materials, one- on-one campaign and machinery building will be undertaken to get the support of the workers. 1.8. Collective Bargaining Activities. After the trade union has been “certified” as the Sole and Exclusive Bargaining Agent (SEBA), then that is the only time that it can prepare for the collective negotiations. This stage also needs a lot of consolidation work among the members to make sure that they exert pressure to the employer to negotiate properly. 1.9. Legal Services. The Philippine labor relations system is very legalistic, forcing workers to procure the services of a legal counsel who can provide a whole range of legal services including. As such, the project should cover legal fees, legal documentation, lawyer’s consultancy fees and other related services. 2. Consolidation Activities. This part of the project refers to the consolidation of APL Cebu. To do so, the following activities shall be conducted: 2.1. Leaders’ Planning and Evaluation Conferences. A 2-day leaders’ conference will be held during the 1st quarter of the year. This conference will provide a venue for APL leaders from Cebu to plan, asses and improve the project implementation. It shall also be used to discuss other important organizational matters. 2.2. Youth Camp. There shall be one (1) 3-day youth camp where at least 25-30 youth activists and potential leaders from trade unions, communities and schools will be invited to participate. This youth camp will serve as political leadership schools for these young activists. 2.3. Women Conference. There shall be one (1) 2-day women’s conference where APL women leaders from Cebu can meet to discuss issues of importance to women workers and to define the directions of APL’s women organizing in the area. At least 25 women activists from the trade unions, communities and schools would participate. 2.4. Urban Poor Conference. There shall one (1) 2-day urban poor conference where urban poor leaders from Cebu can discuss issues affecting their sector and to plan appropriate responses. 2.5. Labor Vote Seminars. To encourage workers’ participation in the electoral arena, three (3) one-day seminars on the labor vote will be conducted. 2.6. Territorial Assembly. A territorial assembly will be conducted with at least 75 APL leaders and activists as participants in this one-day activity to discuss issues, coordinate plans and elect their territorial leadership. VIII. Project Budget The project will cost PHP 730,786 or NOK 102,310. This amount would include APL’s counterpart amounting to PHP 16,500 (NOK 2,300) and Aker Group Union’s solidarity support amounting to PHP 714,286 (NOK 100,000). These funds will be allocated in the following manner: In PHP In NOK* I. Programs A. Expansion 1. Data Gathering/Social Investigation 20,000 2,800 2. Pre-Union Membership Orientation 60,000 8,400 3. Basic Trade Union Seminars 75,000 10,500 4. Leadership Training 80,000 11,200 5. Legal Services 45,000 6,300 B. Consolidation 6. Leadership Evaluation and Planning 83,000 11,620 7. Youth Camp 181,500 25,410 8. Women Conference 82,500 11,550 9. Urban Poor Conference 22,500 3,150 10. Labor Vote Seminars 49,500 6,930 11. Territorial Conference 31,786 4,450 Grand Total 730,786 102,310 APL Counterpart 16,500 2,310 Total Amount Requested 714,286 100,000 * Conversion rate used NOK 1 = PHP 6.9 IX. Project Management: A Project Management Committee (PMC) shall be organized composed of a representative from the union of Aker group, the LO Norway, the APL Executive Committee and a representative from the Visayas region. It shall meet and communicate regularly to oversee, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the project. APL General Secretariat will be directly responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the project cooperation and shall submit regular reports to the Norwegian partners and to the APL Executive Committee. The APL shall establish a separate Euro account for the exclusive use of this project.
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