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A CUPE-led delegation is currently participating in a seven-day fact-finding mission to the Philippines. The mission “Against the Killings and Repression of Public Sector Workers” is part of an ongoing Global Justice Fund project with our partners the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in the Philippines. 

Delegates will travel to three different regions of the country to meet with COURAGE affiliates and community members who are experiencing harassment and political repression. In the Philippines, trade union leaders, members, organizers, staff and supporters experience a great deal of harassment and many other forms of repression that violate their human and union worker rights.

Since its inception in 1986, COURAGE has remained at the forefront of the Philippine public sector workers’ struggle for decent wages, humane working conditions and full union rights. COURAGE campaigns to expose and oppose corruption. It fights against privatization and pushes for genuine public services.

CUPE delegates met with the ACT on July 11 and heard firsthand from members of urban poor communities about the conditions in the education sector. Schools are overcrowded and underfunded in the Philippines and many children are prevented from attending school because they are unable to afford the rising fees. Teachers’ salaries are woefully inadequate and most live below the poverty line.  

Community leaders explained to the delegation that teachers and the communities they serve need to organize themselves because that is the only weapon they have to fight for their rights.

The Mission will conclude on July 18.