Labour lawyer Remigio Saladero of the Philippine Pro-labour Legal Assistance Centre (PLACE) is being held by police on a number of trumped up criminal charges. Please act now to challenge this act of repression against a prominent labour advocate.
Officially, special economic zones were created as a way to provide jobs for Filipinos by using tax exemptions and other incentives to encourage foreign investors to invest in the Philippines. Unfortunately experience shows that foreign investors and the government are the only ones to benefit from these economic zones, not the workers.
The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) is happy to inform you that the Morong (Rizal) Regional Trial Court (RTC), in a resolution dated January 26, 2010 but received only on March 1,2010 denied the complainant's (Karnation Industries Inc / Pansy Accessories Corp) Motion for Reconsideration (MR) to revoke the granting of bail issued by the court on November 20, 2009 for temporary liberty of the 18 surviving detained Karnation 20.
The Rizal Provincial Prosecutor has dismissed murder charges against Filipino labour lawyer Remigio Saladero and sixty other individuals due to lack of probable cause. The defendants, all affiliated with progressive groups, had been charged in connection with the killing of Ricardo Garmino, a member of a paramilitary group in Rizal province.
A high-level International Labour Organization (ILO) Mission to the Philippines wrapped up on September 29, feeding hopes that international attention will help stem the tide of violence and intimidation that has been unleashed on Filipino trade union organizers and human rights advocates. The ILO Mission was charged with investigating the killings of 92 union leaders and activists since 2001.
Swiss-based lingerie maker Triumph International is being accused of anti-union behavior as it lays off thousands of workers in Thailand and the Philippines. Triumph International supplier, Body Fashion Thailand, announced on June 29th that it would lay off half of its 4200 workers. In the Philippines 1660 Triumph garment workers will lose their jobs by the end of August due to closures.
Striking workers met by batons
The Government of the Philippines has finally agreed to allow a High-Level ILO Mission to visit the country and investigate extrajudicial killings of labour rights advocates.
Trade unions in the Philippines have been trying for two years to initiate an international investigation but had been blocked by government and employer delegations.
Authorities in the Philippines are abusing the legal system as a means to repress workers' rights. 33 labour-rights activists and factory workers have been criminaly charged in a politically motivated attempt at suppressing labour rights in the country.
The workers, most of whom are women, are officials and members of two labour unions active in garment industries in the province of Cavite, just South of the capital Manila. They were involved in a strike at the Chong Won and Phils Jeon factories in September 2006 to protest against their respective management’s refusal to negotiate for a collective bargaining agreement with the unions.
Two days later, the peaceful strikes were violently dispersed by local police forces and agents of a private security company, who attacked the strikers with clubs and other crude weapons, injuring dozens of the workers.
After being held for more than three month in prison on trumped up charges, Philippines labour rights attorney Remigio Saladero Jr was finally released on Thursday, February 5th. Five other Philippine labour rights leaders were also released with him including Nestor San Jose, Rogelio Galit, Crispin Zapanta, Arnaldo Seminiano, and Emanuel Dionida.
On October 3, 2008, the terror felt among labour activists in the Philippines grew even stronger. In addition to the arrest of Remigio Saladero, which MSN alerted you to earlier, another 71 people including well-known human and labour rights advocates were put on an arrest list by the Philippines government.