7 August 2014 – The IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) and ITF are urging international support for local campaigners fighting for the reinstatement of workers sacked by the Citra Mina Group of Companies in the Philippines.
The global unions will use the opportunity of the General Santos Tuna Festival in General Santos City from 5-13 September to step up the public pressure on the giant tuna exporter and to highlight industry-wide issues of concern.
The Samahang United Workers of Citra Mina Group of Companies Union in the Philippines registered their organisation in July 2013, in response to poor health and safety conditions, precarious employment and other concerns. Its call on Citra Mina for recognition and negotiation was met by a wave of dismissals of union activists and their supporters between September 2013 and January 2014, leaving the workers and their families without income, and a legal challenge to the union’s registration.
Liz Blackshaw, ITF/IUF fisheries programme leader, said: “Citra Mina should know that it is being watched around the globe by activists demanding justice for the unfairly sacked workers. There will be an international union presence at the Gen Santos tuna festival ready to pile on the pressure and shame the company into reinstating the workers and recognising their union. We urge all union members to demonstrate their backing for the workers’ human rights.”
On 30 May this year, the Philippines Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) officially upheld the union’s registration and rights. However, Citra Mina continues to refuse recognition and has used the government’s conciliation procedures to reject reinstatement of the dismissed union members.
The ITF urges union activists around the world to send messages to Citra Mina – simply visit its Act Now page.