Guy Marsden | CUPE Representative

CUPE strongly believes that our power to fight back against privatization of public services, cutbacks to operating budgets and attacks on workers’ rights is strengthened through the relationships we build with workers in other workplaces struggling for common causes. This includes workers in other countries.

Robert Mendoza, President of the Alliance of Health Workers in the Philippines, recently visited Saskatchewan and Manitoba. His visit is just the latest example of CUPE’s global justice work and alliance-building with unions and workers in countries across the world.

Mendoza toured health care facilities in both provinces and spoke at public meetings. Through these visits and presentations, he spoke about the struggles facing health care workers and trade unionists in the Philippines – budget cuts to public hospitals, rampant privatization, “contractualization” or precarious work where many health care workers receive no benefits and have minimal job security. Currently, out-of-pocket spending accounts for 57 per cent of health expenditures in the Philippines and results in poverty and poor health for most Filipinos.

Mendoza also spoke of the many campaigns and mobilization efforts his union and others are undertaking to fight back, including the People’s Health Agenda for free, comprehensive and progressive health services for all citizens.

The Filipinos struggle to secure quality health care is something Canadian workers can relate to, since we face the common foes of privatization and growing inequality. CUPE is committed to continuing its global solidarity work with allies around the world.