Tell it to SunStar: Attacks against workers

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay

On International Labor Day 2024, we join thousands of workers who marched to the streets to demand higher wages, job security and the recognition of their right to unionize, among others, and raise calls to stop the attacks against workers and the people under the Marcos Jr. government.

The Marcos Jr. government’s refusal to provide a reasonable and substantial hike in the minimum wage as well as the salaries of employees in the public sector due to the neoliberal demands of US imperialism is most deplorable, especially amid the economic crisis in the country.

Among those in the agricultural sector, their situation is aggravated by the effects of the drought and drop in production brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.

In the transport sector, jeepney drivers and operators who have had their incomes eroded by incessant oil price hikes and rising costs of spare parts are now in danger of losing their livelihoods due to the so-called PUV (public utility vehicle) modernization scheme which will also deprive commuters of access to cheap transport.

Yet workers who dare to organize and air their grievances are subjected to grave human rights violations, including extrajuducial killing and enforced disappearance.

On Sept. 29, 2023, veteran labor organizer Jude Thaddeus Fernandez was summarily killed in Binangonan, Rizal by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operatives who claimed that he fought back after being served a warrant.

More recently, Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao labor organizer William Lariosa, 63, was abducted by state agents on April 10, 2024 in Quezon, Bukidnon and remains missing.

Alexander Reyes, Oliver and Rowena Rosales are government sector unionists arrested and detained for almost six years now on trumped-up charges.

We demand justice for Jude Fernandez, William Lariosa, Alexander Reyes, Oliver and Rowena Rosales and all other labor organizers who have become victims of human rights violations for their staunch and militant advocacy of workers’ rights.

We call for decent wages and humane working conditions for all the working people of this country and for their right to free association, assembly and expression.

We call for the strongest support for their just and legitimate demands, and an end to the historic and systemic disregard for, and attacks, on their rights.

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