BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The 2020 Global Rights Index by the International Trade Union Confederation named the Philippines as among the top 10 dangerous places for workers.
Other countries included in the list are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Zimbabwe.
The ITUC Global Rights Index showed the world's worst countries for workers by rating 139 countries based on the following:
- No guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law (5+)
- No guarantee of rights (5)
- Systematic violation of rights (4)
- Regular violation of rights (3)
- Repeated violation of rights (2)
- Irregular violation of rights (1)
ITUC is the world's largest trade union federation with 200 milion workers from 163 countries through the 332-member national labor federations.
According to ITUC, the Global Rights Index was developed to increase the visibility and transparency of each country's record on workers' rights. The ITUC affiliates in the Philippines are the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, Sentro and Kilusang Mayo Uno.
The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU) said they stand by the list, citing “actual circumstances on the ground, the current state of labor relations policy during the quarantine allowing wage reductions and suspending labor rights inspections, the anti-labor and the anti-consumer program of our economic managers to raise anew excise taxes and opposing security of tenure, as well as the dangerous political slide towards authoritarianism evidenced by passage of the Anti-Terror Bill."
The labor federation added: “We see the handwriting clearly on the wall. Workers rights and workers are and will be victims in the current political environment.”
"There remains unresolved assassinations, allegedly labor-related disappearances, various repressions, red-tagging and wanton attacks on workers and workers' fundamental rights that makes the current environment dangerous and difficult for workers,” ALU said in a statement.
The group said they are foreseeing “conditions to get even worse" in the days ahead.
"Using the COVID-19 and the growing great global depression as the justification to justify and peddle their wrong-headed prescriptions to keep private profits high and social spending low, is now making the country more dangerous and more difficult place for workers to live and to work and are promoting unproductive and very dangerous class warfare,” the group said.
The labor federation urged the national government to listen to the plight of the country’s workers and “remember the lessons of history.”
“In the midst of the last great depression in the 1930's, there were two paths taken by different models of government, those who followed the totalitarian temptation and those who followed the path of worker protection and social protection,” ALU said.
"The former's repression collapsed their countries and governments around them in bitterness, sorrow and World War defeat, while the latter model led to collective prosperity and increased grassroots democracy," it added.
They also asked the national leadership “to step back from the brink of this totalitarian temptation and accept the path of building back better by upholding our individual civil and political liberties, respecting our collective economic rights, and by putting our workers interests first."
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