On Wednesday 6th October the 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. Elmar Labog, Chairperson of KMU, a Philippines union of over 150,000 members spoke and responded to questions. He 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. Elmar has himself been identified - a process called "red tagging" - for victimisation as a result of his unionism. A broad based coalition including the KMY 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 Elmar gave on his 2020 visit to Perth, covering some of these issues.