The Australian union movement stands with unionists in the Philippines who have become the target of frequent attacks, with 43 union members and officials being killed in the last three years. The ACTU is participating in a global day of action on Human Rights Day to draw attention to the treatment of unionists in the Philippines.
The ITUC has named the Philippines as being one of the worst ten countries in the world for workers’ rights. Unionists and other activists have been labelled as terrorists and enemies of the state.
Australia has a long-standing bilateral military relationship with the Philippines, including providing counter-terrorism capacity training. Despite the many reports of attacks by the armed forces of the Philippines against their own people, from 1 December 2019, Australia increased its support of Duterte’s military through the new Enhanced Defence Cooperation Program.
As stated by ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“We are taking part in this global day of action on Human Rights Day to demand that the Philippines government, led by President Duterte, stop the killing of unions and union activists.
“We are also calling on the Morrison government to stop enabling human rights violations in the Philippines – no Australian taxpayer money should be spent supporting a regime that routinely violates the rights of trade unionists, journalists and human rights defenders.”
10 December, 10.30am, Embassy of the Philippines, 1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla
Contact Alex White, Secretary UnionsACT, 0403 694 397
10 December, 9.00am, Consulate of the Philippines, 21 Biscayne Way, Jandakot
Contact Phillip O’Donoghue, Media Officer, UnionsWA, 0417 923 029
10 December, 1.00pm, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne
Contact Peter Green, Senior Media Relations Officer, ACTU, 0400 764 200
11 December, 1.30pm, Consulate of the Philippines, 27 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney
Contact Charlotte Kennedy-Cox, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, 0419 268 918