From its humble beginnings in the Luneta Park, UFS began to gain the attention it needed to advance its cause. Leaders in the maritime sector, particularly those of related government agencies and the leading industry organizations, took notice of the real and legitimate issues being raised by UFS.
While primarily aimed at fostering unity among seafarers under the wings of UFS to create an effective mechanism for representation and bargaining, the union also broadened its activities and initiated interaction with other sectors, taking full cognizance of the whole gamut of issues that affect the entire maritime industry. In the process, it gained a broader perspective of the issues involving seafarers. Like an engineer who must make his ship’s engine contend with and survive the marine elements while on a long voyage, UFS knows too well that no union can last and survive without sailing through and interacting with the other elements in the maritime environment.
Putting in place a responsive and dynamic collective bargaining mechanism within UFS, the union expanded its involvement in the task of representing and protecting the interest of seafarers vis-a-vis that of their local employers or agents of shipowners. Gradually, it became involved in a larger community where seafarers are an integral part of a social, economic, political, cultural and moral structure that goes beyond sectoral and national boundaries and is an indispensable part of a new global order.
Promoting social justice and human rights between and among Filipino seafarers may be one of UFS’ objectives, but this end is every human being’s goal in the global community. So are upholding the democratic right of every seafarer with regards to his working and living conditions, privileges and benefits in accordance with all lawful and accepted standards, which, invariably is more international in scope. Part of the objectives also includes advancing the growth and development of the seafaring professions and rendering a hand to seafarers and their families, no matter what the odds.
UFS responded well with the communication revolution of the 90s that shrunk the world and gave birth to the global community. More than answering the call of a new global order, it became an active player in the Philippine socio-political mainstream, getting involved and actively participating in a wide range of activities. Its members and their families became a regular and familiar fare in school, community, church, government and other activities.
On the other hand, Engr. Ramirez led the union’s officers and directors in a constant and continuing dialogue with industry leaders and government officials on the plight of |Filipino seafarers and the need to address their concerns. In a way, UFS underwent a transformation that gave it a name in the industry it vowed to promote and the country it is dedicated to serve.