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We are saddened and outraged by the cruel and violent murder of Alex Dolorosa, a union organizer and a paralegal with the BPO Industry Employee Network (BIEN) in Bacolod, Philippines. Unfortunately, his tragic murder only reinforces the reason that the Philippines repeatedly is ranked annually as one of the world’s deadliest countries for worker organizers. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues at BIEN at this horrible time.
Alex’s tragic murder follows years of him and his organization being surveilled and “red tagged” by the government of the Philippines. It has become common in the Philippines for the military and the government to target unions, union leaders and workers attempting to organize with red tagging - falsely labeling innocent activists and organizers as communist insurgents and enemies of the state, which allows for aggressive surveillance, mistreatment, torture, imprisonment and even killings of workers.
Alex had lived with this persecution just for standing up for his rights. In addition to being an organizer Alex was a social justice and LGBTQ+ rights activist who has been a victim of repeated unlawful surveillance and harassment over the past several years. His brutal murder happened in the context of these larger attacks on workers and human rights activists fighting for change.
CWA has worked with international unions like BIEN to build solidarity and improve the standards for all workers in our industries and beyond. Through our Eduardo Diaz Union-To-Union International Solidarity Fund, we provide financial support for BIEN and its organizers like Alex, which is why we consider this an attack on a member of our broad CWA family.
In recent years, BIEN, CWA, and other allies have worked closely to raise awareness about these ongoing violations of human rights including advocating for the passage of the Philippines Human Rights Act by the U.S. Congress. Once again, we are demanding that President Marcos and his Administration take immediate action to address these injustices, call out and demand an end to the “red tagging” of legitimate labor organizations and worker organizers, and to instead lift up and celebrate the brave organizers like Alex who devoted their lives to bringing some justice for him and his coworkers.
We once again call on President Biden and his administration, who will be hosting President Marcos at the White House next month, to publicly condemn the Government of the Philippines' record on labor and human rights and demand that the Marcos Administration stop the vilification of committed activists, like our now murdered colleague Alex.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.