By David Bush
A couple of dozen janitors and their supporters protested outside the corporate headquarters of Dream Office REIT, one of Canada’s largest estate companies, in downtown Toronto on Tuesday. The lunchtime rally was organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 2 in an effort to shed light on the company’s poor labour record. The companies that Dream REIT have chosen to contract out its cleaning services to have been accused of numerous labour violations such as not retaining when a contract was flipped because workers wanted to join a union, paying below the minimum wage and not paying proper severance and termination pay.
Our sisters, Cecilia Austria and Rafunzel Korngut participated in the Mass for the Lumad Prayer Service and Community gathering at St. Dunstan’s Parish Church last Sunday, November 28, 2015 from 3:00-6:30 pm.
The prayer service was con-celebrated by Rev Irene T, Rev Dante Coloma and Rev Bob McElhinney. MP Bill Blair of the Scarborough South West was in attendance as well as leaders from the various Filipino community organizations and parishioners. Beautiful music was provided by Belinda Corpuz and Tim Parayno at the prayer service while Norman Crisostomo, Lui Queano, Rhea Gamana and Tambuli sang original Filipino progressive songs at the community gathering. Our thanks to Fr. Jeff Masterson who welcomed us in the parish church. The event was organized by ICHRP and PATAC.
The prayer service was one of the events held as part of the campaign to stop the killing of the Lumad indigenous people in the Philippines. The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) also sent an open letter to the President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III express urgent concerns regarding the violent attacks on Indigenous Peoples (Lumads) in Mindanao. The Philippine Star, a newspaper in the Philippines declined to publish the open letter as a paid ad “due to political reasons”. The request to publish was made during the APEC meeting in Manila.
Ganz training is a popular training developed by Marshall Ganz, a successful organizer and now a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University. He teaches, researches, and writes on leadership, organization, and strategy in social movements, civic associations, and politics at the Kennedy School of Government.
Ganz training is a product of years of experience that Marshall Ganz acquired in his work with students, farmworkers and community organizations, since 1964.
On December 12, 2015, the Filipino Workers Network will conduct its first Ganz training with select SEIU Local 1 Filipino union leaders and the Filipino Workers Network Steering Committee members.
FILIPINO WORKERS NETWORK DEPLORES USING RACISM TO WIN VOTESOct 13, 2015
In six days, October 19 federal election is upon us. The Filipino Workers Network (FWN) of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council expresses our deep concern over how the issue of niqab has been raised repeatedly to incite the politics of fear and division. We, the Filipino Workers Network, affirm messages of solidarity to our Muslim sisters and brothers. We strongly criticize the use of racism and xenophobia to divide the community and stir them away from the real issues in this federal election.
The Filipino Workers Network condemns using racism to win votes. We remember the Filipino community’s struggle in 1993 when Filipino youth were banned from the Scarborough Town Centre because they are Filipinos. We remember the mauling and killing of Mao Jomar Lanot in Vancouver. We remember the hate graffiti and physical violence against 25 Filipino youth at Vancouver Technical Secondary School in 1999. We remember Jeffrey Reodica who was shot by the police in 2004. We remember the racial profiling of young Filipinos in Montreal. In recent years local reports of anti-Filipino sentiments due to abusive use of the Foreign Temporary Workers program by food service industry.
Six thousand Filipinos leave the Philippines each day, because of economic and political uncertainties. Canada is now home to us and we share in Canada’s concern that we are losing good jobs, losing public utilities due to privatization and losing our rights and freedoms.
We believe this election must focus on making a better Canada. A Canada that embraces diversity, respects human rights and fights for social justice. A caring Canada that protects the environment. A Canada that cares about its people and the world.
We urge everyone to go out and vote. We have the right. Let us exercise it.
The Filipino Workers Network consists of union members volunteering with the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.
For more information please contact Paulina Corpuz
SAVE THE DATE: 2ND FILIPINO WORKERS CONFERENCE 2018
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