Human rights award for ITF/IUF-backed online fisheries campaign

National recognition has been given to an online campaign calling for respect for the human and trade union rights of tuna workers in the Philippines.

The e-petition Tell Philippines’ seafood giant Citra Mina to respect the human rights of their workers! (www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/campaigns/show_campaign.cgi?c=892) was set up by members of the Samahang United Workers of Citra Mina Group of Companies Union, with support from the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association) following dismissals of workers, believed to be motivated by the forming of the union.

Now, based on votes cast via social media, the campaign has been named among the winners of the Human Rights Pinduteros’ Choice Awards – an annual online event recognising remarkable efforts of human rights defenders in the Philippines in maximising the internet for the promotion, assertion and defence of human rights.

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said: “Citra Mina workers in General Santos are using every tool at their disposal to aid their efforts to secure reinstatement of dismissed workers and recognition of their union. Their online presence is a big part of that, and it’s encouraging to see that recognised.”

Ron Oswald, IUF general secretary, added: “Fighting for justice and basic rights is something that the union in this dispute is absolutely committed to. Their online campaigning has allowed them to reach out to people who care about social justice and spread their message on a global scale.”

Union members are attending an award ceremony today, 1 December in Quezon City. (www.facebook.com/events/1567056803528826).

ENDS

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