Are workers in your country free to organize unions?
There are many countries where workers’ right to freedom of association is violated. Trade union leaders and members are intimidated, illegally laid-off, harassed, tortured or killed.
As we mark the International Day of Action against Trade Union Repression, let us light a candle on or near the day November 16, in our workplaces or homes to show our solidarity with all workers who are struggling to organize unions, without which all workers’ rights become vulnerable. Let us also remember the martyrs who were killed in the struggle for workers’ rights.
* For all solidarity actions, please post in Facebook and use the hashtag #StopTURepression, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Significance of November 16
Ten years ago, on November 16, 2004, the military and police forces opened fire on the picketline of striking sugar workers of the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita in the province of Tarlac, Philippines. Of the 6,000 people in the picketline, seven were killed and over 100 wounded in the fusillade. In the following months, union leaders and the union’s community supporters – lawyers, priests, and elected local officials – were assassinated. Workers in different countries sent their indignation. Ten years later, the US-backed government of Benigno Simeon Aquino III, whose family owns the hacienda, continues to inflict violence on the farmers and farm workers, who persevere in their struggle for better working conditions, land and justice.