PH among worst countries for working people: index

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2018 05:26 PM

PH among worst countries for working people: index 1
A worker scales the frame for one of the entry ramps to the Skyway. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines is among the 10 worst countries for working people, the Global Workers' Rights Index 2018 showed.
Manila got the lowest rating of 5 as there is "no guarantee of rights" in the country, the index said. 

Other reasons cited were "intimidation and dismissals, violence, and repressive laws."

The index, released by the International Trade Union Confederation, rated 142 countries on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 as the best depending on a country's compliance with collective labor rights. 

"In a context of extreme state violence and suppression of civil liberties, workers and trade unionists in the Philippines faced threats and intimidation," the report read.

"Employers frequently used intimidation tactics and dismissals to prevent workers [from] establishing unions," it added.

The labor department has yet to respond to a request for comment as of this posting. 

In May, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order to stop illegal contractualization, among major labor issues in the Philippines. 

Some labor groups were, however, disappointed as the order did not contain their proposed provision mandating direct hiring as "the general norm in employment relations."

Other countries deemed worst for working people are Algeria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 

Regionally, the index said the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remain the world’s worst regions when it comes to fundamental
rights at work. 

It noted how millions of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia are "trapped in modern slavery under the kafala system."

A common practice in Arab countries, the kafala system requires migrant workers to have a sponsor in the host country so that a visa and worker's permit can be issued.

The Asia-Pacific region, meanwhile, is ranked as the second worst region with violations of rights ranging from regular to systematic.

Countries that received a rating of 1 are Austria Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Uruguay.

The report said there was only a "sporadic violation" of workers' rights in these countries. 

Read the full report here: