ILO to look into killing of 92 labor leaders

Published by rudy Date posted on September 10, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Investigators from the International Labor Organization (ILO) are arriving in the next two weeks to look into the killing of 92 labor union leaders.

The ILO mission will stay in the country from Sept. 22 to 29.

They will meet with families of victims and survivors of unexplained killings, enforced disappearances and labor-related harassments, according to the Kilusang Mayo Uno.

“Representatives from Geneva, Switzerland, in coordination with ILO Asia-Pacific, will conduct consultations with the Philippine government and workers’ organizations, and inspect two major manufacturing plants in Central and Southern Luzon,” the KMU said.

KMU official Elmer Labog said a number of factories have been turned into military camps to silence unions while workers are charged and are jailed without due process.

“These are but some of the cases that we have filed in our complaint and will submit to the ILO in its upcoming mission,” he said.

ILO director Linda Wirth said the killing of labor leaders is the most serious form of harassment.

“There has always been cases and it’s now new,” she said.

“But the mission is coming here not to say all things are wrong but to find a solution to the problem.”

In 2006, KMU filed a complaint before the ILO on the government’s alleged rampant violation of ILO conventions on freedom of association, collective bargaining, and the right to strike.

Last June, Labor Undersecretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the government has allowed the ILO mission to have direct contact with complainants and other competent authorities regarding unexplained killings.

Direct contacts with complainants and with concerned competent authorities would enable the ILO mission to recommend appropriate measures to ensure fair investigation, prosecution and conviction of the violators, she added.   – Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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