November 30th was a global day of action in the Philippines. The global trade union movement showed its solidarity with trade unionists and other activists fighting for human rights and democracy in a country that has both been at risk since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.
Despite severe COVID-19 restrictions, trade unions organized protests in the Philippines. World Union supporters intervened with embassies and consulates in the Philippines.
Communications urge the government to act on four priorities:
- Stop red-tagging activities against unions and other legitimate organizations and hold those responsible accountable, especially those involved in extrajudicial killings.
- Scrapping the Anti-Terrorism Act and its Implementing Regulations (IRR);
- Ensuring the health and safety of all workers at work; and
- Protect the jobs and incomes of Filipino workers and start massive public employment programs.
The declaration urges other governments to refuse to condone these crimes and to review and reconsider commercial and economic benefits such as the generalized system of preferences in the European Union, the United States and elsewhere. It reminds governments that "the repeated decisions of the International Labor Organization and the UN Human Rights Council have been ignored or, at best, have made empty promises".
The statement by the Council of Global Unions concludes:
“Democracy is in critical condition in the Philippines, but not yet dead. That's because so many brave Filipinos are fighting for it. The people of the Philippines need and deserve global support and they desperately need it. This is a moment for governments that support universal human rights to move forward and show that their commitments are not just words. "