Filipinas - Persistent denial of trade union rights under Aquino government

The Aquino government’s persistent denial of trade union rights led the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) to organise a picket outside the Department of Labour and Employment on 10 April 2015 in protest. Many of the participants had been dismissed for trying to form trade unions and had been involved in several strikes to protest against union busting over the previous two years at Pentagon Steel Corporation (April 2013), Express Coats (March 2014), Janrey (March 2014) Golden Fortune Construction (December 2014), and Long Hong Recycled Plastics (March 2015).

The KMU drew attention to a report by the Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), published in 2014, which found that thousands of workers continued to experience violations of their right to form trade unions. Even where workers’ succeeded in forming a union, employers regularly refused to negotiate a collective agreement. Organisers are frequently dismissed and blacklisted. Less than ten per cent of employees in the Philippines belong to a trade union, and of these only 12 per cent are covered by a collective agreement.

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