Default Thumbnail

TUCP, other labor groups honored

August 1, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 1093 views

THE Philippine labor movement, including the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), was honored by the largest federation of unions in the United States, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO).

The award is for the full and free exercise of the Filipino workers’ freedom of association and right to organize, especially in the light of the findings and recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) High-Level Tripartite Mission (HLTM).

The 2023 Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award is given to the Philippine labor movement for its dedication and courage.

The citation stated: “Amidst the dangerous reality, the Philippine labor movement continues to organize, build power and fight for the rights of workers across their country. In the face of threats to their own lives, our union brothers, sisters, and siblings in the Philippines continue to garner global support for their campaign of resistance. In their unrelenting fight for freedoms, the Philippine labor movement is also helping to resist the rollback of democratic values being carried out by tyrannical governments around the world.”

The George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award, named after the first two presidents of the AFL-CIO, is annually awarded to “recognize outstanding examples of the international struggle for human rights through trade unions.”

Previous awardees of this prestigious honor include Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, former United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai, the Arab Spring Workers, and Lech Walesa, among many others, who devoted their life to addressing the workers’ plight and working to advance their rights.

The Philippine trade union movement is deeply honored to join such an illustrious list as one of the recipients of the Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award which we dedicate to all Filipino workers and their families, fighting for their right to organize workers and build solidarity towards better and fairer terms of work and bringing equity and dignity to their work and lives.

“Today, the Philippine labor rights situation is under the global spotlight. In January 2023, we welcomed the ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission, already the third ILO technical mission to the country over three Administrations, which reiterated concerns on unaddressed anti-union violence, continued political profiling, impunity, and the lack of substantial progress in complying with labor rights and standards,” the TUCP said in a statement.

In June 2023, during the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, the Philippines was included in the shortlist of 22 countries with ongoing cases of persistent violation of ILO Conventions on fundamental labor rights.

The TUCP remains steadfast in calling on the Government, especially the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), to act with urgency and dispatch in addressing these longstanding violations, ending the violence, and promoting a race-to-the-top in terms of labor relations.

“We urge the DOLE to give primacy and importance to the workers’ recommendations on ways forward, primarily by providing both workers and employers a seat at the table in a proposed high-level Presidential commission that will take on these long-standing concerns relating to violations of the basic rights of workers” it added.

Among those awarded are the TUCP, Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), and BPO Industry Employee Network (BIEN).