A message from Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN):
Last fall, a high-level International Labour Organization (ILO) mission went to the Philippines to investigate “serious allegations of the murder of trade unionists, death threats, arrests of trade union leaders in connection with their trade union activities, widespread impunity relating to violence against trade unionists and the militarization of workplaces in export processing zones (EPZs) and special economic zones”. Their report is due to be released next month.
Unfortunately, violence and judicial persecution of trade union leaders and activists is continuing. Below, we urge you to support workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining by taking part in two action campaigns by labour and human rights promoters that highlight the continuing pattern of abuse of worker rights in the Philippines.
Karnation Industries: Twenty workers at Karnation Industries were arrested during a 2007 strike against the illegal dismissal of union members, the non-payment of holiday pay and night bonuses, as well as a salary that was only half of the minimum wage at the time. They have spent two and a half years in prison, during which time two workers died from tuberculosis contracted since their incarceration. 14 workers were temporarily released on bail in November of 2009. Four of the workers remain in prison. All of the surviving workers are still facing charges, and the company has filed a motion to reverse the bail decision and return all of the workers to prison. Join the Asia Human Rights Committee in protesting the continuing judicial persecution of the Karnation 20 here.
Dole Food Company: Managers at a Dole pineapple plantation in the Philippines have worked with the military on an intimidation campaign against an independent workers’ union and their democratically elected union leaders for the past four years. Workers who met recently with an International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) representative have been fired or suspended. Join the ILRF in protecting the rights of Dole workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining here.
Join the Maquila Solidarity Network and support the continuing efforts of labour and human rights workers on the ground.