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CULE Response to SAMAHAN Hanjin Worker Crisis in the Philippines

ATT:   Secretary Silvestre Bello Department of Labor and Employment, Philippines Via Email:

CC:     Hanjin Shipyard Workers’ Organization (SAMAHAN), Workers for Peoples Liberation (WPL)

FR:      MaryAnne Laurico President, Canadian Union of Labour Employees

January 25, 2019

Secretary Silvestre Bello:

It has come to our attention Hanjin Shipyard workers continue to be laid off, en masse, and that thousands of them are awaiting separation pay, do not have appropriate access to a corresponding unemployment subsidiary, and have no binding return to work protocol or agreement.

Having visited these workers and learned about the challenges they face under normalized, deplorable, and unsafe working conditions, it is with alarm we receive this news. It is distasteful the workers seeking to survive have had to endure such precarious and abusive conditions to bloat the gains of international corporations. It is more worrisome they now face insult to injury.

As an organization working to better the lives and working conditions of all workers across Canada and beyond, we stand in solidarity with the Hanjin Shipyard Workers, and with Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin (SAMAHAN) and Workers for Peoples Liberation (WPL) in their advocacy.

We understand you have a meeting scheduled with the workers on January 28th.

We ask that you use the time to:

  1. take the demands seriously and implement without hesitation.

  2. ensure workers can, without obstruction, access all justified entitlements

  3. send a consistent message to any Corporate entity that worker rights must be respected.

We look forward to hearing about the swift resolution and implementation of appropriate accountability mechanisms to prevent future occurrences.

Respectfully, MaryAnne Laurico President, Canadian Union of Labour Employees (CULE)

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