Amid tight security, unionists from Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) Philippine affiliate Associated Labor Unions (ALU) held a surprise International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) demonstration forewarning participants to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nation) leaders’ summit in Manila to be wary of Russian asbestos. Video here.
“Stop exporting asbestos. No to Russian asbestos. Stop asbestos export to ASEAN. Not here, not anywhere. Asbestos kills,” were the BWI and ALU banner displayed for all incoming leaders and participants including a small Russian delegation who attended the first day of the meeting held in Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) which the Philippines hosts.
ALU policy advocacy officer Alan Tanjusay said they were able to hold the demonstration, radio flash reports and a television interviews within 40 minutes before they were forced out by a phalanx of policemen for breaching the layers of security blanket approaching the PICC.
“We are sending a strong signal to Russian government that they will find unionists and activists opposing them anywhere they go if they continue to allow export of cancerous asbestos to ASEAN countries and anywhere. We will always forewarn ASEAN governments not to allow importation of asbestos. And for those who already have, we will engage and discourage them from doing so,” said Gerard Seno, ALU national executive vice president.
Before proceeding to the ASEAN meeting venue, ALU and BWI unionists lighted candles and said prayers for the souls of 74 workers who perished in the deadly Kentex rubber fire factory in Valenzuela city on May 13. 2015 and to those workers who were killed and maimed at work in consonance with the universal commemoration International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) today April 28th.
Contact--Alan A. Tanjusay, Policy Advocacy Officer, ALU-TUCP
Mobile Phone: +63.915.851.9558
Landline: (63-2) 922.2575 local 122.
The biggest labor federation in the Philippines, the Associated Labor Unions-TUCP is located at National Labor Center Elliptical Road corner Maharlika St., UP Village Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1101 Website: www.alu.org.phThe ALU was founded by 44 dock workers in 1954.
It has more than 200 officers and staffs in key areas of the Philippines to serve the multiple needs of the formal and informal working people across various industries in the public and private sector. ALU works with local and global union federations, civil society organizations, academe, UN bodies and select branches of government in improving the lives of the workers and their families.