NAGKAISA seek dialogue with BELLO on killings of trade unionist!


 On the eve of the 70th International Human Rights day the broadest labor Coalition NAGKAISA (UNITED) – which includes the AGUILA, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Sentro ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa, Partido Manggagawa (PM) , Public Service Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and 40 other trade union federations and workers associations – calls on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to sit down in a dialogue to discuss the killings of trade union unionists and the harassment and threats encountered by trade union leaders and organizers in the country.

“We already sent an urgent letter to secretary Bebot Bello because we are seriously alarmed with the recent killings of trade unionists and the harrassments and threats encountered by trade union leaders and organizers,” said Nagkaisa Chair Atty. Sonny Matula.

Linus Cubol, the former Caraga chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), was shot five times and found dead on November 27, in his furniture store in Santiago, Agusan del Norte by two assailants onboard a motorcycle. Cubol was the former president of Manila Mining Corporation workers’ union in Placer, Surigao del Norte.

Earlier, Danny Boy Bautista, 31, a worker of Packing Plant 340 of Sumifro, was shot to death by unidentified assailants on October 31 at about 6:00 pm in Barangay Poblacion, Compostela. It was reported that Bautista sustained four gunshot wounds that resulted to his sudden death.

All these killings are in the top of several other trade unionists killed since 2016, including SENTRO and PM organizer Lando Abangan, the first trade union leader assassinated when Mr. Duterte came to power.

“All these killings need thorough investigations and are still crying for justice,” added MATULA who is also the President of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW).

On the other hand, union organizers of Partido Manggawa also encountered harrassments and threats while organizing workers at export processing zones in Cavite and Cebu. Likewise, union leaders of FFW in Batangas encountered harrassments from the local police that if they will continue organizing workers and they are going to strike, they will be arrested.

Lastly, the arrest of two former leaders of COURAGE in Bulacan; and the red tagging of public sector unions i.e. CIU and PSLINK are all grave and serious threats to the exercise of the right to self-organization. All these are manifestations of a culture of impunity and ill-motives against trade unionists of some people, in and outside government.

Today (December 10), marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and States’ commitments to its principles, included are the respect for trade union rights and the dignity of human persons.

The declaration is intended to prevent untold human suffering and aims to lay down the foundations for a just and humane world. CPM


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