Report of ILO High-Level Mission A Cause for Serious Concern- CTUHR

  • Harassments and intimidation of leaders and members of the Bagong Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Triumph International by FTI police, private goons and administration personnel still in relation to the strike of workers aimed at forcibly taking hold of the properties of the closed company. The confrontation took place from January 21-25 2010.
  • Leaders and members of the Four Dimensions Employees Union in San Miguel, Pasig City experienced harassment and intimidation by policemen and a certain, Rolando Anselmo following an order to demolish the picketline of the said union last February 10, 2010.

    In addition, we have yet to hear from the ILO a statement with regard to the governments’ anti insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) or Operation Freedom Watch, which is pointed out in testimonies as the single common factor where rampant HRVs committed against unionists and activists from 2001 to the present are rooted.

    Indeed, there were recommendations to assists the AFP and the police in “capacity building, awareness raising and training in relation to freedom of association and collective bargaining” and “in the respect of basic civil liberties of trade unionists.” But then, as we have said earlier, the problems between pervasive violation of freedom of association and involving state forces are not technical in nature but a question of state policy on independent, progressive and/or militant unionism.

    We understand that the proposed trainings or technical cooperation are well-meaning but we continue to urge the ILO to look deeper into the context of violations and to the value orientation that state policy ensues in government forces. As long as these institutions barely put premium on the need to respect human rights and people’s democratic interests to achieve progress and peace in society, the results of these technical trainings will most likely be insignificant and trivial in resolving the issues of human and trade union rights violations.

    The Committee also noted the High-Level Mission’s recommendation on setting up a tripartite committee to monitor the violations in trade unions and workplaces, which we hope would be a positive step. But this body has to be fresh (not from an existing structure to avoid clouds of doubts), credible, independent of Malacañang (or of Arroyo and even post Arroyo regime) and must include particularly the complainant unions, even those which are not affiliated with the national center.

    Lastly, we are painfully saddened that the full report of the ILO HLM will only be discussed next year, a very long way still, considering the simmering conditions inside and outside the Philippine workplaces. Nonetheless, we reiterate our call to the ILO to make a categorical conclusion or observation with regard to the causes of and responsibilities in violations that existed and continue to exist today.

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