Meet labor leader Ka Bong at events on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
The following is from BAYAN Seattle:
SEATTLE (Sept. 26, 2023) — In the face of attacks against the Philippine labor movement and intensifying worker struggles worldwide, Filipino worker-leaders are visiting the United States to strengthen solidarity with unions, worker organizations, and community groups based in the U.S., as well as share the situation of workers in the Philippines.
BAYAN Seattle, ICHRP Seattle, and Malaya Movement Seattle have launched the Kapit Bisig (Link Arms) Tour 2023: Solidarity for Philippine Labor Under Attack. They will be hosting Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, Chair of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), in Seattle. All are invited to the following events (RSVP and get details here):
● Saturday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Labor Notes Troublemakers School at South Seattle College in West Seattle, 6000 16th Ave SW.
● Sunday, Oct. 1 from noon to 2 p.m. at a labor solidarity roundtable and lunch. Location TBA.
● Sunday, Oct. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. at a community forum to hear from the frontlines of the PH labor movement. Location TBA.
BACKGROUND — The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) named the Philippines as one of the 10 worst countries for trade unionists due to the persistent violations of labor rights and relentless killings of worker leaders. Under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte — the children of tyrants Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. and Rodrigo Duterte — the condition of workers has worsened. The Marcos administration has made no significant moves to increase the wages of workers despite skyrocketing inflation. Meanwhile intimidation, harassment, illegal arrests, and forced union disaffiliation continue. In April, the murder of Alex Dolorosa, a call center worker and human rights paralegal, marked the 71st labor organizer murdered in the Philippines from 2016 to the present day.
Although the conditions are dire, workers fight back: from the Jeepney drivers in Metro Manila who brought the city to a standstill, to the workers at Wyeth-Nestle who successfully reinstated 10 wrongfully terminated workers, to the Jollibee workers in Jersey City who continue to wage a campaign against their unjust termination. Across the U.S., we’ve seen waves of strikes across all industries, from screenwriters and actors to autoworkers.
In Seattle, the trend continues: rank-and-file workers are recognizing their collective power and taking action as seen in the Alaska AFA, Starbucks Workers Union, and UNITE HERE Local 8 Homegrown workers strikes. The time is ripe to build bridges between the working class in the Philippines and the U.S.
For more information about the Kapit Bisig Tour, visit linktr.ee/kapitbisigst.