Workers, Unions and Labour Rights Advocates, launches their own network Against Tyranny
Workers from varying trade unions, federations from informal, public, service, agricultural and industrial sectors together with labour rights advocates have joined forces to launch WRATH or Workers’ Resistance Against Tyranny and For Human Rights on December 8, 9:AM at National Press Club, Manila.
The Center for TradeUnions and Human Rights (CTUHR), one of the convenors, says that WRATH aims to bring together and to strengthen the labour sector’s efforts, campaigns and actions to call for and end to the killings of workers and human rights defenders but to resist the crackdown on progressive organizations that the Duterte administration has unleashed. “ It is imperative that workers, whether or not they are organized should act together, stand up, raise and add their voices to resist the rising tyranny parallel with the continual attacks on their purse and belly”, Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director avers.
CTUHR recorded at 21 victims of Extra-Judicial Killings in the workers rank, nine (9) from agriculture sector, two ( 2) organizers/ union leaders, two (2) from transport, eight (8)from service (construction) and informal sector (pedicab and vendors association leaders, two (2) from transport in 15 months of Duterte administration.
The formation of WRATH came following the killings of known farmers and workers’ advocate, Father Marcelito “Tito” Paez on Tuesday, December 4, at San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija and Pastor Lovelito Quinones on December 3, at Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro.
CTUHR and other WRATH convenors also decry the the illegal arrest of PISTON leader George San Mateo, on charges that even the PNP could not explain clearly by resurrecting a law that was passed even before the jeepneys ply on the streets. The arrest and the recent harassments against protesting drivers, operators and commuters against corporate-driven jeepney modernization program are a wanton display of abandonment of people’s welfare by the current administration. While quelling dissent, it has not lose sight in continuing its war on drugs, on terrorism , insurgency, legal progressive organizations and human rights defenders.
Meanwhile, in the labor sector, the repressions of rights of workers blatantly increase in the time of wanton declaration of Martial Law. Union organizing and assembly of workers were prohibited, outright threat and intimidation of military to union leaders and members in the plantations.
“Extra-judicial killings are happening while the workers are pushed to grapple from falling wages, work precariousness, work accidents, retrenchment en mass, illegal dismissals, closures, increasing commodity prices and restrictions on the right to organize. Intensified militarization in communities and plantations inflict heavy damages on plantation workers particularly in Mindanao. In fact, Lauro Moreno, 64, retired plantation worker but one of the leaders of agrarian reform beneficiaries was gunned down by to mask-wearing men on November 29 inside the Filipinas Palm Plantation Inc. in Rosario, Agusan del Sur”, Arago added.
A day before Moreno was kiiled, Elisa Badayos and Elioterio Moises were shot dead while riding a habal-habal on their way to Brgy. Nangka Bayawan City, Negros Oriental to investigate the reported harassments and the human rights violations committed by military.
WRATH vows to harness workers’ opposition against the rising tyranny, multi-faceted attacks on their ranks and to build solidarity among friends and relatives of the victims of Extra-Judicial Killings, harassments, persecution. Similarly, it and uphold the rights and welfare of the workers and the poor that are exacerbated under Duterte administration.
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