Union leader Jude Thaddeus Fernandez, 67, was killed September 29 in the house where he was staying in Binangonan, Rinzal Province. A division of the Philippine National Police reportedly entered Fernandez’s home and shot him dead. Fernandez was mobilizing his community in a campaign to raise wages and end government corruption and human rights violations. Four union leaders and members have been murdered in the Philippines this year. The International Trade Union Confederation also ranks the Philippines as one of the ten worst countries for worker rights.
Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau offered this statement:
“The Solidarity Center stands with our partners in the Philippines, the Nagkaisa labor coalition, in condemning the brutal killing of Jude Thaddeus Fernandez, a dedicated union organizer who devoted decades to improving the lives of working people. We are outraged by this unconscionable act and denounce the escalating violence against union leaders and working people in the Philippines and around the world for seeking to improve their working conditions and ensure their fundamental democratic rights.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Jude’s family and community as they mourn their loss, and we stand in solidarity with the Philippine labor movement in its call for the International Labor Organization, the UN Commission on Human Rights and other relevant agencies to swiftly respond and act to attain justice.”