CWA Strongly Opposes “Red-Tagging” of Labor Activists in the Philippines

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) are standing up for workers in the Philippines, especially leadership and members of our partner BIEN, an organization working to organize workers in the call center industry, who are facing brutal tactics from the Duterte administration including “red-tagging” and other severe injustices. We call on the companies who utilize contractors or directly employ workers in the Philippines to also condemn these actions.

“Recently, we’ve been seeing a big increase in labor activists in the Philippines being ‘red-tagged’ —meaning they are being labeled as communist insurgents and enemies of the state— putting their safety and lives in jeopardy,” said Shane Larson, CWA’s Senior Director for Government Affairs and Policy. “In the repressive environment of Duterte’s Philippines, being ‘red tagged’ is seen as a death sentence, as we saw with our friend Zara Alvarez who was red tagged and brutally murdered in a shooting last year. These efforts are aided by the passage of Duterte’s recent so-called Anti-Terror law, which was designed to give Duterte unchecked power to punish activists who criticized him in any way with imprisonment, surveillance, and other fascist tactics.”

“The Duterte regime must stop its targeting of peaceful labor leaders and activists, and U.S. corporations whose workers are the ones being targeted must speak up. These actions are  unacceptable, and must cease immediately. An injury to one is an injury to all. CWA stands in solidarity with BIEN leaders, activists, and workers in the Philippines who are being ‘red-tagged’ for simply standing up for what’s right under a repressive government that will stop at nothing to destroy not only the labor movement, but kill its own people,” said Larson.

Press Contact: