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18/09/2015: PH CONSULAR SECTION AND US WHD REAFFIRM COMMITMENT TO LABOR RIGHTS

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-056-2015
18 September 2015

WASHINGTON, DC—In the wake of Labor Rights Week, the Philippines and the United States reaffirm their commitment to ensuring Filipino workers in the US receive fair and timely wages.

To forge this commitment, the signing of the Arrangement Establishing an Understanding (AEU) between the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Baltimore District Office and the Consular Section of the Philippine Embassy took place on 15 September 2015 at the DOL Office in Washington, DC. The document was a renewal of the AEU which was signed on 30 August 2013.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Consul General Emilio T. Fernandez signed on behalf of the Embassy while Deputy Administrator Laura Fortman and Baltimore District Director Mark Lara represented the WHD.

The Ambassador welcomed the renewal of the AEU and expressed his appreciation to the WHD for their appreciation of Filipinos’ contribution to the US economy.

“This document is a testament to the fruitful and continuing engagement between the Embassy and the Wage and Hour Division in ensuring the protection and promotion of the rights of Filipino workers in the US. It is a vital component of our assistance-to-nationals efforts as well as an affirmation of the US government’s advocacy for human rights and a demonstration of their appreciation for the Filipino workers’ contribution to the US economy,” said Ambassador Cuisia.

The envoy also said the agreement would help the Embassy in its efforts to ensure safe and fairer work environments for Filipinos.

“With a significant number of Filipinos living and working abroad, the Philippine government has made the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of Filipinos overseas an important pillar of Philippine foreign policy, pursuing migrant worker-related bilateral agreements, regional arrangements, and international standards that would facilitate the creation of safer and fairer work environments. As we renew our agreement, allow me to reassure you of our unwavering commitment to the program,” said Ambassador Cuisia.

According to Fortman, the partnership with the Embassy will provide the WHD an even greater reach to the network of Filipino workers in the US.

“The consular partnership plays a critical piece to help us reach out to vulnerable workers and to foster an environment where workers’ rights are respected,” said Fortman.

The Embassy has concluded a total of 10 local agreements with various district offices of the WHD within its jurisdiction since the signing of the Letter of Arrangement between the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and WHD in 2012. The Philippines also has similar arrangements with other labor-related agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Labor Rights Week is a collaborative effort between embassies and their consulates with Department of Labor field offices to increase awareness and inform workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities under US labor laws. ###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-076-2015
18 September 2015


Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. signs the Arrangement Establishing an Understanding (AEU) between the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Baltimore District Office and the Consular Section of the Philippine on 15 September 2015 at the DOL Office in Washington, DC.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-077-2015
18 September 2015

Laura Fortman, Deputy Administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, and Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. during the signing of the Arrangement Establishing an Understanding (AEU) between the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Baltimore District Office and the Consular Section of the Philippine on 15 September 2015 at the DOL Office in Washington, DC.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-078-2015
18 September 2015

(L-R): Philippine Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Welfare Officer Petrona M. Bergado, Labor Attache Angel, Michael Kravitz of the WHD, WHD Baltimore District Director Mark Lara, WHD Deputy Administrator Laura Fortman, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Consul General Emilio T. Fernandez, First Secretary and Consul Katrina Borja-Martin, and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Darell R. Artates.