On 30 November 2020, unionists from around the globe gathered in solidarity with workers from the Philippines. Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA staff wore red and attended rallies in solidarity with unionists in the Philippines who are fighting to defend democracy and secure human and trade union rights.

“We stand with the unions, working people and the community, to say No To Terror Law and Hands Off Trade Unions in the Philippines.Sharan Burrow, ITUC

The demands of the Filipino trade union movement:
  1. Stop red-tagging against trade unions and civil society organisations and demand accountability for the extrajudicial killings.
  2. Repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act and the implementation regulations.
  3. Provide health security and safety at work for all.
  4. Provide job and income protection in public employment programs.
  5. Accept the ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission to the Philippines.
  6. Ratify ILO Convention No. 190 to eliminate violence and harassment at work.
  7. Call on the European Commission to initiate the GSP investigation of the Philippines on human and labour rights compliance.
Sydney: Rally outside Philippine Consulate

In Sydney, unionists, activists and internationalists gathered in a COVID-safe rally outside the Philippine Consulate. After being welcomed by Peter Murphy, Matt Murphy from the ETU spoke followed by Kate Lee (APHEDA’s Executive Officer), Robyn Fortescue (AMWU) and Rob Long (NSW Teachers Federation).

“…in February this year when union leaders from the Philippines KMU were in Australia, our government agreed to meet regularly with unions via the Australian Embassy in Manila. Unions in the Philippines asked Australia to STOP funding military and police via its aid program given the extreme situation. Each year, Australia gives in excess of $40 million in aid for this purpose. Until the atrocities end, this is blood money! The KMU met with the Australian Embassy in Manila on Friday and gave our government an update on the situation and again asked Australia to stop this funding. Union Aid Abroad APHEDA and the Australian union movement stands in solidarity with workers in the Philippines!Kate Lee, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA

Watch Live Video from the Sydney Rally.


Canberra: Solidarity with the Philippines!

In Canberra, around twenty unionists gathered alongside Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Michele O’Neil outside the Philippnes Embassy. The small but visible crowd made their message of solidarity loud and clear – unionism is not a crime!

“Proud to stand with Unions ACT in solidarity with unionists in Philippines. Duterte “red tagging” unionists, rounding up & shooting as terrorists – Aust pays for his military. Accept ILO Tripartite Mission” Lachlan Clohesy, APHEDA Activist ACT

Unionists and internationalists also gathered in Perth to show their solidarity with workers and their communities in the Philippines.

Perth: Solidarity with the Philippines!

In Perth, unionists and internationalists also gathered outside the Philippine Consulate to show their solidarity with workers and their communities in the Philippines.

WA unionists support the demands of the Filipino trade union movement. Stop the killings of Filipino trade unionists!” Unions WA (Facebook)


Unionists in Perth gather outside the Philippine Consulate [Image: Unions WA]

Motion on Trade Union Repression moved in Parliament!

A week after the Global Day of Action for the Philippines, Josh Wilson MP moved a motion in Parliament (seconded by Pat Conroy MP) opposing the repression of human rights and trade union rights in the Philippines and calling on the Australian government to support the upholding of these rights.

Thank you to Josh Wilson MP, Pat Conroy MP, and all of our supporters who have taken action and campaigned for workers’ rights and human rights in the Philippines.

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