Lilia's husband, Peter, had worked at the Lepanto mine for seventeen years when all 1,787 workers went on strike in 2005. The workers were on strike for three months demanding better wages, benefits and job security to reflect the dangers of their jobs. Management refused to meet their demands and responded by firing the 19 union leaders behind the strike, including Peter.  After lengthy negotiations, the 19 union leaders eventually accepted their dismissals in exchange for the reinstatement of the other striking workers. The labour disputes have been ongoing  with workers complaining that the company often delays or withholds their salaries to control them. 

Peter has been trying to find a new job without any luck for two years and recurring health problems have been making his job hunt increasingly difficult. With Peter unable to find work, the burden of supporting the family now falls on the shoulders of his wife Lilia, sitting here with their daughter Trixie. Lilia has no formal education so her prospects are limited. The only real option available to her is to work abroad as one of the millions of Filipino domestic servants employed all over the world. "I would like very much to work in Canada", she says, "it must be like paradise there...do you know anyone who needs a house worker?" But even in places like Canada, she knows Filipino domestic workers are alone and vulnerable. About a month before this picture was taken, she heard reports about a girl from the neighboring town of Ifugao who was murdered while working as a domestic servant in a mansion in Toronto. But apart from her personal safety, what troubles Lilia most is the thought of being separated from her family. (image by Allan Lissner)
Lilia's husband, Peter, had worked at the Lepanto mine for seventeen years when all 1,787 workers went on strike in 2005. The workers were on strike for three months demanding better wages, benefits and job security to reflect the dangers of their jobs. Management refused to meet their demands and responded by firing the 19 union leaders behind the strike, including Peter. After lengthy negotiations, the 19 union leaders eventually accepted their dismissals in exchange for the reinstatement of the other striking workers. The labour disputes have been ongoing with workers complaining that the company often delays or withholds their salaries to control them. Peter has been trying to find a new job without any luck for two years and recurring health problems have been making his job hunt increasingly difficult. With Peter unable to find work, the burden of supporting the family now falls on the shoulders of his wife Lilia, sitting here with their daughter Trixie. Lilia has no formal education so her prospects are limited. The only real option available to her is to work abroad as one of the millions of Filipino domestic servants employed all over the world. "I would like very much to work in Canada", she says, "it must be like paradise there...do you know anyone who needs a house worker?" But even in places like Canada, she knows Filipino domestic workers are alone and vulnerable. About a month before this picture was taken, she heard reports about a girl from the neighboring town of Ifugao who was murdered while working as a domestic servant in a mansion in Toronto. But apart from her personal safety, what troubles Lilia most is the thought of being separated from her family.
©Allan Lissner
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