Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Military: Hands off the unions!

Press Statement
December 2, 2008
Judy Ann Miranda
Secretary General
Partido ng Manggagawa

The Partido ng Manggagawa supports the Wesleyan University-Philippines Faculty and Staff Association (WUPFSA-LAGMAN) in its fight against the vicious labor repression by the military and in its struggle against the virulently anti-labor management at the helm of Wesleyan University.

Aside from Colombia, the Philippines is the worst country for trade unionists, who are routinely killed or harassed by agents of the government and the military. We call on our brothers and sisters in the labor movement to close ranks in defense of the union leaders of WUPFSA-LAGMAN and other victims of labor repression.

The harassment suffered by the Wesleyan union is no different from two cases of unions right here in Metro Manila who were similarly intimidated by military personnel. In September 2006 military men held an anti-communist teach-in for the union leaders of Manila Bay Spinning Mills in Marikina. Before that, they held the same seminar for the union of Armscor also in Marikina.

The vicious agenda of labor repression is clear—to strike fear in the hearts of workers and terrorize them against political involvement. With a terrorized and docile labor, it will be easier to cheapen the price of labor power. Labor repression is bound to intensify with workers discontent at the impact of the global crisis erupting into struggles and strikes.

We hold the administration of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ultimately accountable for the deaths and harassment of labor leaders for even granting that it is not the mastermind behind the death squads running amok, its inaction on political killings and labor repression is goading the enemies of labor to act with impunity.

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