A labor group slammed what they said was black propaganda being smeared against union leaders and labor unions.
'Hands off gov't worker unions': Labor group slams alleged red-tagging campaigns
(Philstar.com) - February 19, 2020 - 6:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines in a statement on Wednesday demanded the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to cease what they said was black propaganda being smeared against union leaders and labor unions. 

This came after the group received a report about a forum and orientation held in various government offices by the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC). The Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) reported that one such orientation was organized at the National Housing Authority office in Quezon City.

The rights of the workers to self organize has led to the government labeling similar activities as communist, which the group said was a sign that the government does not trust its workers.

Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson Thadeus Ifurung said, “Such desperate move of the present government of red-tagging and maliciously identifying union leaders and members among the ranks of public sector as ‘communists’ cause alarm as it sends a dangerous signal in terms of their safety and to our workers rights to self-organization and freedom to join and form unions.”

He added, “TF-ELCAC and the Duterte government’s Executive Order # 70 put the lives of unionists in various government agencies to danger as it uses blanket labeling of union members and leaders as ‘communists’ and ‘communist terrorist groups.”

Defend Jobs Philippines slammed what they said was a “Marcosian tactic” being implemented by the Duterte administration and argued that organizing is not a crime nor an act of terrorism. 

“Fighting for regularization and for a national minimum wage for government workers and employees were just and legitimate calls and must not be equated to crimes and act of terrorism,” said Ifurung.

"Instead of red-tagging unions in the public sector, the government could have just addressed and resolved these issues once and for all."

He added, “Militaristic and fascist approach in dealing dissent and addressing the aspirations of our workforce in the bureaucracy will never be acceptable. Our military and police personnels have no room in civilian and government offices.”— with reports from Philstar.com intern Krizzia Mae Furio

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