Solidarity with workers in the Philippines on Human Rights Day

Tuesday 10 December 2019

This International Day of Human Rights on 10 December, UNI and the global labour movement are taking a stand against increasing repression and violence towards trade union leaders and labour organisations in the Philippines.

The Council of Global Unions has signed a statement condemning ‘the intensification of the harassment and repression against trade unions in the Philippines.’ The Statement is signed by all 11 Global Union General Secretaries.

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As part of a global day of action, UNI and its affiliates around the world will call on President Duterte to stop the state-led suppression of trade unions and labour rights defenders in the Philippines.

Some 43 labour leaders have been killed and President Duterte’s policy of being ‘tough on crime’, is being used as an excuse to undermine trade unions and threaten labour leaders.

Through the practice of “red-tagging”, the Philippine government has wrongly labelled labour organisations as fronts of an underground armed struggle movement and has arrested activists using evidence planted by state officers to justify fabricated charges.

The recent raids and arrests worsen the existing coercive environment—effectively preventing workers from forming and joining trade unions and unions from pursuing legitimate activities.

UNI global union General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, said:

This Human Rights Day, all eyes are on the Philippines as trade unions around the world unite in solidarity with Filipino workers. The state-sponsored repression of labour leaders and trade unions in the Philippines must stop. The Philippines is home to more than a million contact centre workers who find it virtually impossible to organise due to a deficit in democracy and a climate of fear. We demand that the Philippine government respects the rule of law and the rights of workers to freedom of association.

Here is how you can show your support and join the campaign:

  1. Write a letter to the Duterte government and delivering it to the Filipino representation in your country. You can download a model letter here.
  2. Take pictures of you and your coworkers holding the day of action’s poster and putting the image on social media.
  3. Make your action visible by using #StopTheAttacks#HandsOff and #StopRedTagging.

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