What’s happening in the Philippines? [updated]

UPDATE: Read the joint statement released by the Global Council of Unions here The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called an international day of action in solidarity with unionists in the Philippines.   

The latest police crackdown targeting unions and human rights defenders occurs amid a broader climate of government repression in the Philippines.  Unionists are arrested, offices are raided, and trade unionists have been murdered.

The 2019 ITUC Global Rights Index names the Philippines as among the ten worst countries in the world for workers’ rights. 

To support the global day of action, WA unions and their members are asked to:

  1. Print and sign the attached model letter to President Duterte, which has been drafted by the ITUC.  Please then send the letter to communications@ieuwa.org.au as an attachment. The letter will be submitted to the Consulate by UnionsWA President Steve McCartney on Tuesday.

    Please DO NOT send them straight to the Philippines government. 

  2. Support the Solidarity Action which has been arranged for Perth as follows:
    1. Date: Tuesday, 10 December, 2019
    2. Time: 9am
    3. Place: 21 Biscayne Way, Jandakot

  3. There is also a webinar with international speakers scheduled for early Sunday morning (5am Perth time). For more details on how to access the webinar via Zoom, please click here.

School Strike 4 Climate – 15 March 2019

The School Strike 4 Climate movement was inspired by the actions of Greta Thunberg, a Swedish political activist seeking to stop global warming and climate change. In August 2018, she became a prominent figure for starting the first school strike for climate, outside the Swedish parliament building.

The Strike, on Friday 15 March, followed an earlier event in November 2018. The March Strike was supported by community groups, schools, universities and unions, including the IEU. Read our statement of support here.

With climate change as the single biggest global challenge, we will continue to support environmental measures and actions that reflect our union principles of collective action. 

Find out more about this movement which is going from strength to strength.

The IEU supports the School Strike 4 Climate

The IEU stands in solidarity with students striking for climate justice on 15 March.

The IEU commends students for their courage and determination in calling for real action to combat climate change. Today’s students face a future which will be affected by climate change, and they know that the extent and severity of the impact on them and their children depends on decisions made by governments and business leaders today.

We share their deep concerns about the health of the planet that future generations will inherit, and we share their anger at the inaction of policy makers around the world. In the face of clear scientific consensus and strong public concern, governments are failing to take the urgent actions required to minimise and mitigate climate change. 

Australia’s current federal government deserves particular censure for failing to take meaningful action to address the climate emergency.

Through their participation in this movement, students around the world have shown the courage to reject apathy and embrace hope and solidarity, and by doing so have reinvigorated the campaign for a sustainable future. We support their actions and their democratic right to protest, and we encourage school leaders to respect the decision of students who wish to participate in the global school strike on 15 March.

Finally, and most importantly, we call on politicians and business leaders both in Australia and around the world to heed the vitally important message delivered by these students, and to recognise the clear moral responsibility to leave a sustainable world for future generations.

Support the action by registering here

IEU Speaks on International Women’s Day: More Powerful Together

On International Women’s Day, IEU members call upon employers and governments to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Everyone deserves to be safe at work and in their community. Yet the rates of sexual harassment in Australia are alarming, particularly for women, with 85% having experienced it in their lifetime.

Sexual harassment is about more than just individual behaviour.
It is a problem that is deeply entrenched within our society and occurs because gender inequality is ingrained in our social and cultural norms, structures and practices.

Sexual harassment causes significant harm to individuals, workplaces and society.
IEU members know what the solutions are, but we need governments and employers to implement them.
We need strong action to Change the Rules so that we can prevent and respond to sexual harassment.
And we need it now!

Australian Human Rights Commission National Inquiry Into Workplace Sexual Harassment
Last year, the AHRC launched an independent national inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. This 12 month investigation led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins aims to highlight a much needed light on a system which is failing Australian workers, particularly women and provide individuals and organisations from all over Australia with opportunities to speak about their experiences.

More Powerful Together: End Sexual Harassment.
The IEU has actively supported the ACTU submission to the AHRC inquiry and will continue to support national action to highlight the incidences of sexual harassment in the workforce. IEU members join with other unions and organisations across Australia to call on State, Territory and Federal Governments to take urgent and coordinated action to implement the following solutions.

  1. Dedicated prevention efforts to address the underlying gendered drivers of sexual harassment, which should be part of a holistic strategy to prevent violence against women and promote gender equality in line with t¹
  2. Stronger and clearer legal duties on employers to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment at work, and strong and effective regulators that have the full suite of regulatory tools and resources necessary to effectively tackle sexual harassment, including as a cultural, a systemic and a health and safety issue.
  3. Access to fair, effective and efficient complaints processes, including a new right of action under the Fair Work Act, extended time limits, increased transparency of conciliation outcomes where appropriate, and other amendments and resources necessary to address the unique barriers that currently prevent workers who experience sexual harassment from taking effective legal action.
  4. Appropriate advocacy and support for workers who experience sexual harassment, including access to information, counselling and legal services that are appropriately resourced and coordinated.
  5. Accessible reporting tools, including piloting an online reporting tool that assists people to report and address problem behaviour and seek support, and identifies trends to assist with prevention and enforcement efforts.

Australian workers need access to fair, effective and efficient laws, support and processes which prevent and protect against sexual harassment at work.

On International Women’s Day, IEU members say CHANGE THE RULES and ensure our workplaces are FREE FROM SEXUAL HARASSMENT


Please attend the Change the Rules for Working Women Rally on Friday 8 March! Register here

¹ Our Watch. Australian Research Organisation for Women’s Safety and VictHealth ( 2015)