he assistance given by DOLE under the Workers Income Augmentation Program in the Formal Sector to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) affected/ displaced employees of the Global Steel Philippines, Inc. came just in time.
Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc. (GSPI), a subsidiary of the ISPAT Group of Companies of India owned by the Mittal Family headed by Mohan Lal Mittal, employs more than one thousand regular workers; with over six hundered workers who are union members, most of whom are former workers of the defunct National Steel Corporation (NSC), while most of the new ones are kins and relatives of former NSC employees. The company, located in Iligan City, was not spared from the effects of the global financial crisis. Many of its workers were displaced, majority of whom were members of the Global Steel Philippines Labor Union – All Workers Alliance Trade Union (GLOSPILU-AWATU).
With the intervention of DOLE and with the collaboration of the Local Government Unit of Iligan City under its Cooperative Development and Livelihood Office and the All Workers Alliance Trade Union – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (AWATU-TUCP) as its Accredited Co-Partner, the GFC effects were immediately interceded. Said displaced employees were grouped with the registered name as GLOSPILU-AWATU Multi-Purpose Cooperative and was granted a livelihood project on Consumer Goods Enterprise. Its store blessing and inauguration was held last March 20, 2009 at Purok #14, Tomas Cabili, Iligan City. Financially, DOLE support amounted to Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 500,000.00), AWATU-TUCP with Php 106,080.00 and the company with Php 11,350.00. These amounts have addressed the economic well being of the workers and their respective families and at the same time fostered and sustained the industrial peace of the city.
The GLOSPILU-AWATU leadership’s networking and advocacy efforts with the different sectors of the society particularly with the local government of Iligan City, also has paid off handsome dividends. On June 20, 2009, the LGU of Iligan granted a premium rice seed capital of NINETY FIVE THOUSAND Pesos (Php 95,000.00) thru the city’s share on national wealth (NPC power generation). The rice distribution project was highly recommended by CDLO taking into cognizance the economic state of GSPI workers and the importance of rice in the budget of all workers’ families.
Enhanced services in the distribution of quality goods and services to the members of the union and the consumer cooperative at the least time and cost will be provided with the deployment of door-to-door delivery of services at an expanded sphere of operations which will cover no less than four barangays where majority of GLOSPILU-AWATU members reside.
To date, the cooperative has achieved a modest growth of 25% from its starting working capital amounting to Php 617,430.00 and continues to project its growth for years onwards.