Philippines: trade union organiser killed

The ITUC denounces the killing, by the police in the Philippines, of Jude Thaddeus Fernandez, an organiser with the ITUC-affiliated Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) trade union centre.

The ITUC has been informed that Jude Thaddeus Fernandez was shot dead on 29 September during a police raid carried out upon the house where he was staying in Binangonan, Rinzal Province. Official claims that he resisted arrest have been categorically dismissed by the KMU.

Since 2016, 72 trade unionists have been killed in the Philippines, including four since January 2023, when a high-level fact-finding mission into the levels of violence trade unionists in the country face was launched by the ILO.

ITUC Acting General Secretary Luc Triangle said “We deplore this latest killing of a trade unionist in one of the world’s worst countries for anti-union violence, where there is no guarantee of rights for working people. Our thoughts are with those close to him and his union colleagues.

“He was a proud and brave trade union organiser, having started out under the brutal regime of Ferdinand Marcos, and it brings shame on the entire country that such violence is still widespread today.

“We call for a full and independent investigation, and that those responsible for his killing face the consequences of their actions. The fact that someone‘s life has been taken, just because they were organising for the rights of working people, is repugnant.”