Kilusang Mayo Uno

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Kilusang Mayo Uno (logo).png
Full name May First Labour Movement
Native name Kilusang Mayo Uno
Founded 1 May 1980
Affiliation Bayan, ITUC, WFTU, IMwF
Key people Elmer Labog, Chairman
Office location Quezon City, Metro Manila
Country Republic of the Philippines

Kilusang Mayo Uno, or May First Labour Movement (KMU) is an independent labour centre in the Philippines promoting militant unionism. It follows in the fighting tradition of the country's first trade union, the Union Impresores y Litografos de Filipinas (Printers' and Lithographers' Union of the Philippines) in 1892 and the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO) of the 1950s.

It was created on 1 May 1980 during the Marcos regime to represent progressive workers‘ organisations in the country that advocated National Democratic struggle, especially the end of what was seen as US Imperialism.


KMU advocates for an across-the-board-wage increase of 125. This campaign has been launched in 1999 and in December 2006, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 435 seeking a 125 legislated wage hike.

KMU is also leading a campaign against extrajudicial killings. Since 2001, more than 70 unionist and labour activists have been killed by death squads. The union president of Nestlé Philippines and PAMANTIK Chairperson Diosdado Fortuna was amongst the slain. They have also launched an international campaign against political killings and have filed a complaint to the International Labour Organization versus the government of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

They have also an ongoing campaign to boycott Nestlé, whom they accuse of labour rights violations in the company's facilities in Laguna Province.

Previous campaigns include a 2004 transport strike to protest rising oil prices, and a campaign to free the late congressman Crispin Beltran from detention by the Philippine National Police.

Other Calls[edit]

Like other militant groups, the movement also calls for the proper funding of basic social services that would ease the pains of a common labourer and the Filipinos in general. Aside from fighting for the rights of workers, KMU has also been an active critic of the Palace, citing the Aquino government as a puppet of U.S. imperialists. They have referred to the government's ultimate dependence on corporations for the rehabilitation of the areas struck by Typhoon Yolanda, a scheme to extract cheap labour from the victims of natural calamities.


  • ICTUR et al.,, ed. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7. 

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