The Council of Global Unions launched the Global Day of Action today in the Philippines to denounce intensifying attacks against workers’ rights to freely associate, collectively bargain, express themselves and seek redress to their grievances, and, most importantly, to their right to life.
UNI Global Union’s affiliates gathered in solidarity today at the University of the Philippines and other cities to demand the Philippine government to stop its repressive actions and policies against unions and work toward protecting workers’ rights to employment and income security, and to ensure workers’ health security and safety at work amidst the health crisis.
Bro. Exie Nidea, President of UNI Global Union Philippine Liaison Council, said “The right to a safe and healthy workplace is a fundamental right of labour. Especially during this time of the COVID 19 pandemic, government and employers have the obligation to ensure that workers, especially healthcare workers and other frontline service workers who serve several patients and clients each day, are protected from COVID-19 infection and are provided with needed healthcare if they become infected with the coronavirus in the course of their work. COVID-19 infection should be a compensable occupational disease”.
In particular, UNI’s Apro region extend its fullest support to its affiliates in the Philippines. Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya said, “We are in full solidarity with our members and all fellow unions in the Philippines who are fighting against a shrinking democratic space that impedes the free functioning of unions in the country. The pandemic crisis is not yet over and the government should instead work with unions to overcome the challenges faced by workers and their families. We echo the call for the government to address the challenges arising from the pandemic in a humane and democratic manner. A collaborative approach will only strengthen Philippines ability to rebound back faster from the crisis”.