Earlier this month, on August 8th, the CULE Solidarity Committee hosted a successful international solidarity event, with visitor, Pete Pinlac, chairperson of MAKABAYAN (Workers for People’s Liberation) from the Philippines. CULE members may remember that our Solidarity Fund had “adopted” an organizer from MAKABAYAN, Precy Dagooc, the organization’s Secretary General. Our support ran from May 2009 to April 2012.
Brother Pinlac gave an analysis of the worker’s movement in the Philippines, highlighting particularly the dangerous working conditions that Hanjin workers face on a daily basis. He emphasized that most trade unionists in the Philippines don’t earn a regular wage, and instead rely on those they are organizing (the workers and their families) for a daily roof over their head and food to eat, while they are in the area. Through CULE’s support of the Vancouver and District Labour Council’s “Adopt an Organizer” campaign for the Philippines, the monetary and moral support we provided went a long way, especially in expansion areas where organizers may not yet have solid contacts willing to house and feed them for the campaign’s duration.
Several CULE members and other PSAC staff were able to attend Brother Pinlac’s presentation, and many personally thanked him afterwards for MAKABAYAN’s work. CULE Solidarity Committee members Janelle Ho-Shing and Monica Urrutia presented Brother Pinlac with a donation for MAKABAYAN and a CULE pin as a remembrance.
We thank the PSAC for use of the boardroom, piknik.ca and Sister Patricia Mullin for donating our delicious refreshments.