[Photo by teacher Zarelle Bernardo]Last July 15, 2011, around 300 Filipino teachers and their supporters trooped to the office of the US Department of Labor (DOL) in Washington DC to protest the department's recent decision. The protest action was spearheaded by the Pilipino Educators Network (PEN).
The DOL's decision will affect more than 1000 foreign teachers. These foreign teachers who are mostly from the Philippines are holding H1-B visas. They are victims of excessive fees by their placement agency and employer (Prince George County Public Schools). After investigation, the DOL handed down a decision that penalizes the district. However the decision also penalizes the victims even harder by mandating that the employer will not be allowed to renew the teacher's visas for the next two years. This will result in a series of termination of more than 800 Filipino teachers.
Partido ng Manggagawa sent its statement of solidarity and released its position statement in support of the teachers protest action.