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Labor group affirms Philippines among top 10 dangerous place for workers

June 20, 2020

QUEZON CITY – The Philippines is among the top ten worst countries for workers in 2020 based on the 2020 Global Rights Index issued by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The other countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

With this, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) are fully in accord with the findings of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and stand by their listing of the Philippines as one of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world for workers.

"When we consider the actual circumstances on the ground, the current state of labor relations policy during the quarantine allowing wage reductions and suspending labor rights inspections, the anti-labor and the anti-consumer program of our economic managers to raise anew excise taxes and opposing security of tenure, as well as the dangerous political slide towards authoritarianism evidenced by passage of the Anti-Terror Bill, we see the handwriting clearly on the wall: workers rights and workers are and will be victims in the current political environment, the labor federation in a statement said.

"There remains unresolved assassinations, allegedly labor-related disappearances, various repressions, red-tagging and wanton attacks on workers and workers' fundamental rights that makes the current environment dangerous and difficult for workers.

We foresee the conditions to get even worse in the days ahead. With the current full operationalization of police and military offices in ecozones to combat what they describe as "radical trade unions", the inevitable enactment and enforcement of anti-terror bill and the current aggressive push by business owners in cahoots with the economic managers for increased labor flexibilization, wage reduction and the lowering of labor standards – using the COVID19 and the growing great global depression as the justification to justify and peddle their wrong-headed prescriptions to keep private profits high and social spending low, is now making the country more dangerous and more difficult place for workers to live and to work and are promoting unproductive and very dangerous class warfare.

We urge our national government to listen to us and to remember the lessons to history. In the midst of the last great depression in the 1930's, there were two paths taken by different models of government, those who followed the totalitarian temptation and those who followed the path of worker protection and social protection. The former's repression collapsed their countries and governments around them in bitterness, sorrow and World War defeat. The latter model led to collective prosperity and increased grassroots democracy.

We plead to our national leadership to step back from the brink of this totalitarian temptation and accept the path of building back better by upholding our individual civil and political liberties, respecting our collective economic rights, and by putting our workers interests first. This is the path to saving jobs and saving lives." they said.

The ITUC Global Rights Index depicts the world's worst countries for workers based on the degree of respect for workers' rights by rating 139 countries on a scale from 1 to 5. Workers' rights are absent in countries with the rating 5 and violations occur on an irregular basis in countries with the rating 1.

The index was developed to increase the visibility and transparency of each country's record on workers' rights. The ITUC affiliates in the Philippines are the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Sentro, and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

The ITUC is the world's largest trade union federation with 200 million workers in 163 countries through the 332-member national labor federations around the world. It is the global voice of the world's working people. It's mission is to promote and defend workers' rights and interests through international cooperation between trade unions, global campaigning and advocacy within the major global institutions.