Australia

There's a crisis on the doorstep of Australia.  The International Committee of UnionsWA, The Southern Initiative for Global Trade Union Rights (SIGTUR), and Union Aid Abroad APHEDA convened a webinar to show solidarity and support with the working people of Indonesia, the webinar heard about the struggle and how workers are surviving the pandemic today and working to prevent the pandemic of asbestos in the future.
  
On Tuesday 31st August participants from around the world heard from Dr. Anna Suraya,  Darisman, Chair of Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION), Indonesia, and Phillip Hazelton from Union Aid Abroad APHEDA.  
 
anna sm
 
 
Dr Anna Surya is a medical doctor also studying for her PhD and director of the Fit2Work Occupational Medicine and Environmental Study Centre where she focuses on developing health surveillance of Indonesian workers for supporting industries and government to establish occupational health program and a lecturer at Binawan University, Jakarta.
 
Darisman
 
 
Darisman is one of the founders of the Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION Indonesia), a civil society organization focused on strengthening grassroots movements to protect workers' rights. In 2010, together with labor, environmental, and health activists established INA-Ban, an asbestos ban network organization in Indonesia. The initiative to establish the LION-Indonesia and INA-BAN organizations based on his experience in organizing victims of occupational accidents and illnesses who together must speak up and become front liners in improving working conditions and the environment. Currently, Darisman is active in capacity building and campaigns to protect workers' rights in Indonesia.
 
Phillip Hazelton
 
Phillip Hazelton is currently Coordinator Eliminating Asbestos Related Diseases Campaign for Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA across SE Asia and is currently based in Cambodia. Phillip was Executive Officer of APHEDA 1990-2001 and has since worked as National OSH Coordinator AMWU 2006-2009 and spent 15 years living in Asia (Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia) working for both the ILO (Chief Technical Officer Industrial Relations Project 2014-2016 Vietnam) and APHEDA in various roles.
Australian unionists stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the Philippines #Stopredtagging

 Elmer Bong Labog, leader of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) union federation in the Philippines, called on Australian unionists and internationalists to stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters on a Solidarity Tour in Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney.

Melbourne Meeting

Melbourne: over seventy-five internationalists hear Elmer’s call for solidarity

“The intensive harassment and repression of trade union members and working people in the Philippines deserves to be condemned by all who value basic human rights and the rule of law.”

On his solidarity tour, Elmer met with union members and leaders from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), UnionsWA, Public Services International (PSI) Asia Pacific, Victorian Trades Hall Council, Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation (ANMF), Australian Council of Trade Unions, (ACTU), the Financial Services Union (FSU), and the NSW Teachers Federation.

And union members responded to Elmer’s call, with strong numbers of activists attending the events. 

 GlennWA Meeting

In Perth, Elmer Labog met with the Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA Perth Activist Group. After being welcomed by AMWU Secretary Glenn Thompson and meeting with UnionsWa Secretary Meredith Hammat and WA Greens leader Alison Xamon MLC, Elmer attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Solidarity Park in commemoration of the forty-six union members murdered in extra-judicial violence under the Duterte regime. 

 Solidarity Park WA

Perth: Wreath Laid in Commemoration of Murdered Philippine Unionists

In Melbourne, more than seventy-five Victorian unionists gathered to hear Elmer and Meryle in conversation with Brother Thy Yann from the Building Woodworkers Trade Union of Cambodia (BWTUB)  and Andrew Dettmer from the AMWU – Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union about trade union repression across the Asia Pacific.

The delegation met with Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Michele O’NeilLuke Hilakari Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, and Kate Lappin, Regional Secretary of Public Services International (PSI) Asia Pacific.

 ACTU Meeting

In Canberra, the Philippine delegation spoke with federal parliamentarians about the urgent need for the Australian government to pressure the Duterte regime to end the killings. They called for Australia to end its military aid of the Philippines military, which has been implicated in wide-spread human rights abuses against civil society activists and campaigners.

 Peter Solidarity

Canberra: Parliamentarians hear about trade union repression in the Philippines

“The right of working people to organise is guaranteed by international standards and national laws, including the ILO Convention on Freedom of Association, but these are being ignored by the Duterte regime in the Philippines. We call on the Australian government to suspend military assistance to the Duterte Regime.”
Elmer and Meryl spoke with: Senator Penny WongAdam Bandt MP, Senator Tony Sheldon, Senator Kim CarrSenator Tim AyresJosh Wilson MPPat Conroy MPPeter Khalil MPGed Kearney MP, Julian Hill MP, and Josh Burns MP
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