Elmer has recently been identified and "red tagged" a process of victimisation and targeting by the PNP and military.
On Wednesday 6th October the Australian Unions hosted by UnionsWA International Committee/SIGTUR held an open meeting inviting supporters to attend via Zoom to hear a report on the repression of unions in the Philippines. Elmer Labog, Chairperson of KMU, a Philippines union federation of over 115,000 members spoke and responded to questions.
Elmer talked about the Duterte Government's use of unlawful violence and killings in its war on drugs that has also targeted unionists and other civil society leaders as a way of silencing dissent. Elmer has recently been identified and "red tagged" a process of victimisation and targeting by the PNP and military.
A broad-based coalition including the KMU and other unions as well as civil society organisations has been formed to counter these measures and raise awareness. As the Philippines is now heading towards a national election, and Duterte himself cannot be a Presidential candidate for election, the KMU and others are working on industrial as well as electoral strategies to counter these repressive measures.
Below is a short video interview that Elmer gave on his 2020 visit to Perth, covering some of these issues.
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.
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 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 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.