Solidarity Message to the 8th National Congress of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW)
The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) extend our warmest congratulations to the 8th National Congress of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) on May 30 until May 31, 2017 in Bacolod City. It is an honor to commend the NFSW which made significant impact among sugar mill and field workers’ unions during the Marcos Martial Law era and remained its influenced in Negros Island.
Today, the NFSW will be re-established as a nationwide federation of sugar workers amidst a martial law declaration in Mindanao. The theme “Strengthen and Expand the NFSW as the national federation of sugar workers. Struggle for genuine land reform, rights, and welfare of sugar workers!” reflects its objective to reestablish the NFSW as the foremost and militant labor federation of the sugar workers that will further advance their struggle in a nationally coordinated approach.
At the international level, the NFSW is a member of the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) since 2006. The APC unites 43 member-organizations of peasant coming from 11 countries in Asia such as in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Srti Lanka and Thailand, advocating for genuine agrarian reform and food sovereignty. On March 27-28, the APC, NFSW, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), KMP-Negros and the Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN AP), jointly organized a “Training on Human Rights” to equip the NFSW and KMP-Negros leaders on documentation work and it also serve as our build-up activity on the launching of the Stop Killing Farmers led by KMO on March 29.
March 29 is a historic event in the people’s struggle for land and resources in Asia when the APC was founded 14 years ago and has, since then, consistently taken the task of challenging imperialist and feudal oppression and exploitation. In 2015, the APC declared March 29 as “Day of the Landless” to heighten our campaign to stop land grabbing. This year’s Day of the landless was marked with a coordinated actions led by 34 member-organizations of APC and its networks in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the Philippines with the theme “Fight for Land! Fight for Life! Intensify the struggle against global land grabbing!”
In 2012, the APC marked October 16 as “World Hunger Day” to expose the FAOs “World Food Day” celebration. This year, APC will again organized coordinated action to exposed the real situation that farmers, fisherfolks and other small food producers in Asia are the most food-insecure and hungry people. We hope that the NFSW could join this action.
On June 18-19, 2018, the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) will be having its 5th General Assembly (GA) in Sarawak, Malaysia to be hosted by Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA). Convened every four years, the APC 5th GA aims to approve its Program of Action, amend its Constitution and By-Laws and elect Coordinating Council members. We are hopeful that the NFSW could sent a delegate in the general assembly.
Finally, we support your call to immediatley lift the Martial Law in Mindanao. We are also calling the APC members to take a stand against Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao, for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines.
Once again, we congratulate the NFSW on its 8th National Congress!