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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:


October 24, 2008

URGENT ACTION: Philippine labour lawyer held on trumped up charges

Remigio Saladero behind barsLabour lawyer Remigio Saladero of the Philippine Pro-labour Legal Assistance Centre (PLACE) is being held by police on a number of trumped up criminal charges. Please act now to challenge this act of repression against a prominent labour advocate.

July 5, 2007

Maquila Solidarity Network calls for investigation into attacks on Philippine strikers

Canadian church, human rights and trade union organizations, including MSN, are calling on Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to launch an independent investigation into recent armed attacks and death threats against striking workers at the Chong Won Fashion garment factory.

November 7, 2006

Companies express concerns about violence in Cavite Export Processing Zone, Philippines

At MSN's request, seven major US apparel companies have added their names to a joint letter to the Philippine government, raising concerns about the alleged violent attacks on workers and human rights promoters in the Cavite Export Processing Zone. Read the letter here.

August 12, 2011

A trip around special economic zones in the Philippines

Officially, special economic zones were created as a way to provide jobs for Filipinos by using tax exemptions and other incentives to encourage foreign investors to invest in the Philippines. Unfortunately experience shows that foreign investors and the government are the only ones to benefit from these economic zones, not the workers.

March 9, 2010

Karnation workers defeat motion to revoke bail

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) is happy to inform you that the Morong (Rizal) Regional Trial Court (RTC), in a resolution dated January 26, 2010 but received only on March 1,2010 denied the complainant's (Karnation Industries Inc / Pansy Accessories Corp) Motion for Reconsideration (MR) to revoke the granting of bail issued by the court on November 20, 2009  for temporary liberty of the 18 surviving detained Karnation 20. 


December 4, 2009

Murder charges against Filipino lawyer Saladero and 60 Others dropped

The Rizal Provincial Prosecutor has dismissed murder charges against Filipino labour lawyer Remigio Saladero and sixty other individuals due to lack of probable cause. The defendants, all affiliated with progressive groups, had been charged in connection with the killing of Ricardo Garmino, a member of a paramilitary group in Rizal province.

November 10, 2009

International Labour Organization mission to investigate Philippines abuses

Striking workers met by batons

The Government of the Philippines has finally agreed to allow a High-Level ILO Mission to visit the country and investigate extrajudicial killings of labour rights advocates.

Trade unions in the Philippines have been trying for two years to initiate an international investigation but had been blocked by government and employer delegations.


November 10, 2009

Canada needs to back ILO in the Philippines

A high-level International Labour Organization (ILO) Mission to the Philippines wrapped up on September 29, feeding hopes that international attention will help stem the tide of violence and intimidation that has been unleashed on Filipino trade union organizers and human rights advocates. The ILO Mission was charged with investigating the killings of 92 union leaders and activists since 2001. 

July 20, 2009

Take Action: Triumph accused of anti-union activity in worker layoffs in Asia

Swiss-based lingerie maker Triumph International is being accused of anti-union behavior as it lays off thousands of workers in Thailand and the Philippines. Triumph International supplier, Body Fashion Thailand, announced on June 29th that it would lay off half of its 4200 workers. In the Philippines 1660 Triumph garment workers will lose their jobs by the end of August due to closures.

April 21, 2009

Chong Won workers face new legal threat

Authorities in the Philippines are abusing the legal system as a means to repress workers' rights. 33 labour-rights activists and factory workers have been criminaly charged in a politically motivated attempt at suppressing labour rights in the country.

The workers, most of whom are women, are officials and members of two labour unions active in garment industries in the province of Cavite, just South of the capital Manila. They were involved in a strike at the Chong Won and Phils Jeon factories in September 2006 to protest against their respective management’s refusal to negotiate for a collective bargaining agreement with the unions.

Two days later, the peaceful strikes were violently dispersed by local police forces and agents of a private security company, who attacked the strikers with clubs and other crude weapons, injuring dozens of the workers.