CUPE strongly believes that our power to fight back against privatization, austerity and attacks on workers' rights is strengthened through the relationships we build with workers in other workplaces struggling for common causes, including workers in other countries.
A recent visit by Robert Mendoza, President of the Alliance of Health Workers in the Philippines, is just the latest example of CUPE’s global justice work and alliance-building with unions and workers in countries across the world.
Following a weeklong trip to Manitoba, Brother Mendoza made a stop in Saskatchewan to visit the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and Pasqua hospital in Regina and the long-term care facility Tatagwa View in Weyburn.
Through these facility visits and presentations at two evening social events in Regina and Weyburn, Brother Mendoza spoke about the struggles facing health care workers and trade unionists in the Philippines.
These struggles include: budget cuts to public hospitals, rampant privatization, poverty and poor health for most Filipinos, and “contractualization” or precarious work where many health care workers receive no benefits and have minimal job security. Currently, out-of-pocket spending accounts for 57 percent of health expenditures in the Philippines.
Brother Mendoza also spoke of the many campaigns and mobilization efforts his union and others are undertaking to fight back, including the People’s Health Agenda for free, comprehensive and progressive health services for all citizens.
CUPE members, family and friends were also able to enjoy some amazing Filipino food at the two social events.
Special thanks to CUPE National and CUPE Saskatchewan for helping to make Brother Mendoza’s visit possible.