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CUPE is concerned about escalating attacks on public sector union activists, organizers and staff working with the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) in the Philippines.

Beginning April 21, and as recently as June 28, 2015, members and leaders of COURAGE received letters accusing them of being members and leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The CPP is considered an illegal organization by the Philippine government, and the NPA is considered a foreign terrorist organization by the United States. Other union activists have received visits at work and home from individuals identifying themselves as military personnel, who are operating with the clear intent to harass and intimidate. 

One of the leaders recently targeted is Rosalinda Nartates, who visited Canada at CUPE’s invitation in March 2015. While here, she met with hundreds of CUPE members as well as representatives from other groups to discuss the human rights situation in the Philippines, including the situation of the COURAGE II, political prisoners Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano. During her visit, CUPE discussed the importance of the campaign to free all political prisoners in the Philippines, and the need to bring to justice those who are responsible for recent human rights abuses and violations.

CUPE supports the work of COURAGE and representatives of our union have travelled to the Philippines on several occasions to meet with workers and organizers, to learn about their situation and support their pursuit of justice and trade union rights.

In a recent letter to the Philippine president, CUPE’s national officers were clear that the harassment and intimidation is aimed at undermining public sector workers asserting their basic human and trade union rights by campaigning for a national minimum wage, and against contracting out and privatization. 

Take action now . Add your voice and join CUPE in sending a letter to Philippine President H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III, letting him know that Canadians are concerned about the state of human and labour rights in the Philippines and calling for an immediate end to the harassment and surveillance of COURAGE leaders and members. 

Read CUPE’s letter to President Aquino. 

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