A Briefing Paper: The Story Behind Subic-made ships of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Phils., Inc.

 

A Briefing Paper: The Story Behind Subic-made ships of

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Phils., Inc.

updated September 13, 2011

Since June 2008, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Phils., Inc. manufactured and delivered twenty four vessels, 14 of which is worth $850 million. For the last two years, Hanjin remains the top exporter in Subic Freeport Zone by earning a total amount of $ 372.74 Million freight on board (FOB)[1].

            With an initial investment of $721 Million, the South Korean conglomerate started operating in May 2006. It was the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Philippines that inked a 50-year lease agreement with then President Arroyo.  Hanjin started out with a 15,000 workforce it now employs 21, 000 Filipino workers. Now, the company targets to sell about $700 Million worth of vessels by 2010, $935 Million in 2011, and $1.28 Billion in 2012.

            Taking into account the generous benefits bundled with the deal like the ten year tax holiday in less than four years the company will be earning back its $ 1.8 Billion investment in no time. It is for this reason that Hanjin quality assurance director Yoonha Kim commended the Filipino workers for ‘learning fast in shipbuilding’.            What then is the state of its 21,000 diligent Filipino shipbuilders?

Recurrence of Accidents and Maltreatment

SAMAHAN (Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard) in its documentation observed in the early week of March 2011 an alarming frequency in fatal accidents occurring at the Subic site. In a span of almost five months, four workers died out of twenty-seven (27) grave accidents that occurred at the shipyard. These accident victims were either confined in the hospital or incapacitated just as the case of Ronaldo Alvarez who was caught between two metal panel boards that painfully twisted his lower torso turning his lower body invalid. He underwent three major operations including blood transfusions.

Whereas, less serious accidents such as minor skin wounds or abrasions, skin irritation, swollen and irritated eyes from over-exposure to welding fumes and metal fillings and a loss of a limb or two occur with alarming frequency.  Every day, the long line of workers awaiting treatment from the nurses on duty at the small clinic has become a living testimony to how dangerous shipyard work is.

On the contrary, from March 28 to June 11, the association documented six (6) cases of maltreatment of Filipino workers by Korean superiors. Maltreatment ranges from choking, kicking, being hit on the head with solid metal flashlight (Maglite) or being hit by an industrial scissor (used for cutting iron sheets).

 

Questionable Safety In the Workplace

            The poor safety record of the light-industrial Zone and Freeport came to light in 2008 with a string of accidents and deaths. Congress and Senate Labor Committee took steps to conduct an inquiry into the matter. In the first quarter of 2009, the number of deaths reached twenty four (24) while according to the Occupational Health and Safety section of the Labor Department reported 5,000 accidents with 40 deaths.

            Workers were encouraged to expose how their Korean superiors handle them like yelling, swearing, knocking their heads, kicking and hitting them with hard objects in order to “extract obedience.” Food is another perennial problem as it was often stale or maggot laden. It was also pointed out that one of the reasons of the accidents is the widespread use of subcontractors. In an ocular visit conducted by Senator Jinggoy Estrada on the shipyard the following recommendations were cited:

  • Ø  Lack of medical facilities: need a 300 bed hospital facility with full time doctor and nurses
  • Ø  Inadequate safety warning devices
  • Ø  Broken safety shoes
  • Ø  Improper use of safety gadgets
  • Ø  Low salary

            In a bid to promote a safer workplace, the workers struggled to organize a union (HHIC-Phils. Inc. Workers Union or HHICPIWU) yet despite compliance with requisites, the union registration remained pending due to HANJIN management’s continuous opposition. Undeterred, Hanjin workers decided to organize and register SAMAHAN (Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard) in the 1st quarter of 2009.

            At first SAMAHAN’s registration was rejected but eventually granted last March 2010. Once more, the management appealed and the DOLE Region III immediately revoked the association’s registration.

            Through the efforts of supportive Church groups like Urban Missionaries (UM-AMRSP) and the National Secretariat on Social Action, Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA JP), the SAMAHAN certificate is reinstated by the Office of National Director of DOLE-BLR last September 2010.

            The alarming return of fatalities and serious injuries from preventable accidents and maltreatment by Korean superiors (with deliberateness unheard of in prior incidents) as well as unclean or sometimes stale and maggot-laden food at the canteen; the workers wrote several letters to the management included in this letter is the demand to reinstate the sixty-nine (69) illegally dismissed union and SAMAHAN members.

The workers rejoiced when the management without answering the association’s letter for a dialogue; started to fix their food, provide uniforms and safety gadgets such as: safety shoes, and goggles, gas mask and helmet to some employees. Yet, in two days time the workers are back to the old cycle: stale food, poor quality equipment and worn-out uniforms; followed by four consecutive accidents that resulted in the death of two workers last April 8 to 15, 2011.

In a bid to show their growing concern and alarm that the shipyard will once again be their graveyard the workers held lunch break noise barrage on the eve of May 1 and on May 26 they wrote a follow-up letter to the management.

The demands of the group are simple: create a committee between the Hanjin management and the workers representative from SAMAHAN to jointly resolve the following:

  • Implementation of occupational health and safety standards like provision of PPE and building of an onsite 300-bed hospital facility within the site
  • Prevent maltreatment
  • Provide clean and healthy food
  • Reinstatement of the 40 illegally dismissed (suspected SAMAHAN and union members) and five (5) SAMAHAN leaders.

Sadly, instead of settling the issue, management responded with suspension, termination, illegal arrest and detention, even mauling perpetuated by Hanjin Security of SAMAHAN leaders. Special Action Force and Subic Police were also used by Hanjin management to repress the leaders of SAMAHAN.

 ###

Contact Persons:          

Alfie Alipio-President (SAMAHAN) 0930 1870 800

Joey Gonzales-Secretary– 0907 8320 094 samahansahanjin@yahoo.com               

Precy Dellomes (MAKABAYAN) 0905 3652 391 Email: makabayan2003@yahoo.com

Ernesto Arellano (President) (NUBCW–BWI) – 0922 8355 685 and Tess Borgonios 0917 8256 954 nubcw.org08@yahoo.com


[1] freight on board . A term used in shipping to refer to the place where the buyer becomes responsible for the shipment and the shipping charges. Example: If the buyer lives in Des Moines and buys a product F.O.B. New York, the buyer must pay the shipping charges from New York to Des Moines and is responsible for seeing that it is properly insured during that shipment.


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Behind Every Hanjin Vessel: Living and Dying in Hanjin Shipyard, Philippines

Behind Every Hanjin Vessel:

Living and Dying in Hanjin Shipyard, Philippines

In 2005, the Arroyo administration, inking a 50-year lease agreement with Korean shipping giant, Hanjin Shipping and its Philippine arm, Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation (HHIC-Philippines), bagged what would be the biggest influx of investment to date.

  Earmarked for Hanjin was two hundred and sixty-three hectares in Subic Freeport Zone (formerly US Subic Naval Base); Hanjin got generous benefits bundled with the deal like ten-year tax holidays.  By 2015, Hanjin was projecting a workforce of 45, 000 Filipino workers.

There are Jobs But…      

Applicants from as far South as Cagayan De Oro and Surigao to as far North as Kalinga and the Cordilleras, would leave for Subic for the sake of their loved ones back home. Often ‘coordinators’ or ‘intermediaries’ from their home provinces would go with them until they are able to settle into apartments or workers’ barracks.

They are trained from 1-3 months at KC Tech/ Greebnbeach (a subsidiary of Hanjin) and receive an allowance of Php 150 (USD 3.00) per day. Once they pass, they undergo six months probation. Some received further training in Korea for three months with an allowance of Php 7,000 (USD 155.00).

While at the training center they sign a five-year contract that provides board, lodging, transportation and food.

Hanjin’s nineteen (19) sub-contractors divide the workers among themselves. This absolves Hanjin of liability, as they argue that they do not directly employ any of the twenty one thousand workers currently found in the Subic shipyard. Periodically, Hanjin management makes them sign new employment contracts with their sub-contractors that take turns in “hiring” them.

In truth, they neither receive those benefits nor do they get to keep a copy of their contract. They earn Php 316.00 (USD 0.94/ hour) a day. Three percent of their salaries are for ‘training expenses’ and a quarter of their take-home pay is spent on their transportation. They reside in cramped apartments with four to six persons or more in a room to share the rent. Other deplorable work conditions are:

The Hanjin canteen offers workers sub-standard food. Sometimes these are spoiled and worst is maggot-laden food or thin gruel, due to unhygienic and unsystematic food handling. In contrast, the Korean superiors are well paid, well fed by a chef.

They work in two shifts: 8am to 5pm and 7pm to 4am but are made to report thirty minutes earlier.  Sometimes they are forced to work back-to-back shifts. Their cell phones are confiscated upon entry.

Table 1: List of Recent Incidents:

(As of March 2011)

Mark I. Abaya

March 8, 2011

PPE was burnt by the tip of the cutting torch

welder

Sustained 2nd degree burns on his left arm

Allan I. Olanosa

March 15, 2011

A T-Bar Line at the panel part fell off and crushed his right leg.

Fit-up

The bone of his left foot must undergo immediate operation; a stainless steel will be inserted in place to the broken bone.

 

Edison Roncal Malit,

March 15, 2011

Lost balance and fell off a platform about 20 foot high

 

The bone in his elbow jutted out, his chin was crushed resulting into cracks in his teeth, he also sustained bruises in his left eye and suffers lower back pain

John March Casol,

March 12, 2011

Fell off a scaffold (ten feet high)

scaffold

Dislocated left arm

Christopher Nera,

March 14, 2011

Ordered to lift the metal plates (600 x 1000 cm x 30 cm) that are usually lifted by cranes which was dropped and pinned his finger

 

 

Aldrin Duhilag,

March 14, 2011

leaked cutting torch burnt his gloves and hand

 

 

Alvin Placio, at erection 1, Dock 5. On

April 9, 2011

Hit by a 60 kilo steel plate on the head

welder

Forced to work by his Korean foreman despite pipefitters working overhead

Ronnie Pacubas

April 8, 2011

Fell off a scaffold

scaffold

 

DIED

(As of 2011)

Alvin Dalunag

April 11, 2011

Fell off his work area 6 foot high, his head hit on metal stiffeners

grinder

 

Andy Bernardino

April 15, 2011

Hit by a metal panel board (250 kilo) on his forehead

electrician

Comatose died on April 19

 

Maltreatment of Korean superiors to Filipino subordinates continues to occur. In just a month (March to April 2011) three workers from different incidents were either hit by a maglite (a solid metal flashlight) on their head while the other one was hit by an industrial scissor on right leg by his Korean foreman.

MALTREATMENT

1. Emerson Llorera

May 22, 2009

Smacked in the face with his leave form, choked and afterwards challenged in a fist fight

Mr. Kim Deuk Yong

2. Joseph Adolfo and

May 23, 2009,

were instructed by their assistant foremen to wait for the air pressure to peak before starting work. Slapped, pushed and shouted at

MO SOM BEAK

3. Jojo O. Dumlao

were instructed by their assistant foremen to wait for the air pressure to peak before starting work. kicked in the chest and if he had not embraced a scaffold he could have died in a 10 feet fall

MO SOM BEAK

4. Rexyll A. Lanawan

June 8 2009

kicked and stabbed by a marking pen on the head

Mon Son Beak

5. Arceo Malit,

June 17, 2009,

Hit with a steel flashlight in the face and on the head for no reason. He was almost unconscious when came out of the locked tool room where he was held by a Korean Foreman while being beaten.

Lee Cheon Sik, a foreman

6. Orlan Paul A. Isidro

July 2009

He was hit by pencil grinder on his head by his Korean Manager for allege not following the rules.

7. Precious E. Marty

October 1, 2010

‘Binatukan’ or knocked on the head and yanked because of failing to lift a metal plate

Mr. Sang Joo Lee

8. Mark Ilagan,

March 28, 2011

hit by a maglite(a solid metal flashlight) on his head

Mr. Park Soo Hyun

9. Jessie Emih

April 25, 2011

knocked on the head (binatukan) for several times

Mr. Choi Sang Ho

10. Jenepher Baculo Abejo

May 10, 2011

An industrial scissor was thrown at his person hitting his right leg resulting in a wound 1-1.5cm. deep

Mr. Yoon Ki Cheol

11. Christopher   Alejandro

May 28, 2011

Choked (sinakal)

Woo Yeon Lee

 

Ironically, the management denies the deaths to escape responsibility and public scrutiny although for some cases wherein SAMAHAN demanded for their burial benefits families were able to receive Php 85, 000.00 after being made to sign waivers under duress.

 

The small seven bed onsite clinic with its two part time medical doctors and two nurses is inadequate for the twenty one thousand strong workforces with the nearest hospital about forty-five minutes away. According to the Labor Code, the on-site health facility must be a fully functioning 150-300 bed hospital. In addition, personal protective equipments, a must, given the dangerous nature of shipbuilding, were scarce, substandard and dirty. Management brushed aside complaints and reprimand complainants.

 

Hanjin did not budge even after the Senate Labor Committee looked into the cases of deaths made public by workers, relatives and concerned citizens. It even denied some of the deaths in its report to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority claiming only nineteen of the twenty-nine incidents.

 

Studies made by labor center Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan or MAKABAYAN, based on the pattern of ailments being observed among the workers, indicates an alarming trend of death from lung and respiratory ailments in two to three years time.  There was a case where a doctor found steel filings embedded in the lungs of an unfortunate worker.

 

The Labor Department rated Hanjin’s compliance to health and safety standards at 42.6% in 2008. It says Hanjin was partially compliant on major areas of concern while fully compliant on minor matters. However in an October letter to MAKABAYAN by the Task Force Hanjin it stated that the company is now fully compliant to Occupational Health and Safety and Labor Standards.

 The World’s Fourth Largest Ship Builder Comes to the Philippines

 So what is so special about Hanjin Shipping? It is a part of the Hanjin Group and sister company to Korean Air. It has made a name for itself from World War II and lucrative deals with the US military in all the major wars of the 20th century. A big fish has come to our little pond and is thumbing its nose on our labor laws and on our people’s rights. (Since World War II, Hanjin has made a name for itself through lucrative deals with the US military in all the major wars of the 20th century.)

Behind Every Vessel

 Since 2007, the Hanjin shipyard has exported 24 ships with the smallest (4300 TEU) containership priced at USD 60,000,000. As of last count, the unpaid extra thirty minutes since 2008 now amounts to Php 377, 400,000 (USD 8,386,667). The period coinciding with the deaths in Hanjin was the period the company earned USD 470 Million.

In January 2011 Aquino has commended the company for being able to funnel around Php 24.2 billion worth of investments in the country or about 40% of the total FDI’s last year.

By its own account, management estimates windfall of USD 3.4 Billion by 2012 because of the accelerated pace of work. Pushed by untenable and inhumane working conditions, workers found refuge in their unity but are facing persecution from management.

Many of the active members were laid-off, suspended or subjected to ‘refresher courses’ that entail clearing garbage inside the compound and para-military exercises, all under the intense heat of the sun. Hanjin sent some of them to its shipyard in Mindanao, left their tenure pending. Indefinitely, framed-up for stealing Hanjin’s property and later illegally terminated them.

Through their perseverance, however, workers’ association the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Hanjin or SAMAHAN won its accreditation early this year, but this too is perpetually harassed by management and its own shipyard police.

 

Action Points

 The sheer size of the Hanjin workforce makes it a rarity in the labor landscape and the extent of the violation of internationally recognized labor standards makes it a chilling precedent if gone unchecked. Thus, the SAMAHAN along with MAKABAYAN, NUBCW-BWI, NASSA-CBCP, Urban Missionaries and other religious organizations under the Church-Labor Conference initiated an ongoing campaign to demand that labor standards must operate within Hanjin shipyard.

If possible, we would like to ask you to be a part of an advocacy campaign for the issues and concerns of Hanjin workers. The spokesperson for SAMAHAN, Mr. Joey Gonzales would be more than happy to accommodate your queries. Also, we’re willing to host a ‘reality-tour’ to Hanjin. ###


Church, Labor Reiterates Call for Safe, Humane Working Conditions

PRESS RELEASE

June 14, 2011

 

 

Church, Labor Reiterates Call for Safe, Humane Working Conditions

 

MANILA, Philippines – Today the NASSA-CBCP hosted a media briefing with representatives from SAMAHAN (Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard) the workers’ association of the shipbuilding company Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, Inc. (HHICPI) to tackle the state of the 21,000 strong Hanjin workers and call upon the management of HHIC-Phils. Inc. (Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Inc. Phils.) to hear out their appeal for a safe and humane working condition and for the Aquino administration to expedite a resolution regarding urgent and long standing issues at the Subic Site.

 

SAMAHAN discloses that in a week (March 8-15) there were 6 fatal accidents recorded at the shipyard whereas from April 8-15; two workers died out of four accidents.  The cited examples of Korean superiors cases of physical abuse and ill-treatment on May 10 and 28 cases to Jenepher Abejo a welder who was hit on the right leg by an industrial scissor hurled at him by an angry Korean superior Mr. Yoon Ki Cheol and Christopher Alejandro who was strangled by Mr. Woo Yeon Lee peg the number of victims to 4 in a period of two months.

 

“This trend raises fear among us; it relives the 2008 graveyard scenario at the shipyard” Joey Gonzales, Secretary of SAMAHAN stated. He added that these incidents happen amidst DOLE’s ongoing cultural orientation and monitoring of the newly formed task force HANJIN.

 

“In 2008, during the peak of the deaths, the workers struggled to organize themselves into a union whose registration has been contested by the management for almost four years now and which was meet by the management with 18 cases of illegal dismissal that involves 40 workers which up to present remains unresolved” explained Atty. Ernesto Arellano of the National Union of Building and Wood Workers (NUBCW-BWI).

 

Undaunted, the workers formed a legitimate association to push for the redress of their grievances like: implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Standards such as provision of PPE and building of a 300-bed hospital facility, prevent maltreatment, clean and healthy food and the reinstatement of the 40 illegally dismissed workers which they enclosed in their letters to the management dated March 15 and May 26.

 

“Our efforts were to no avail as the management refuses to hear out our legitimate demands to our dismay; it even went as far as suspending 5 active SAMAHAN leaders.” Gonzales lamented.

 

Seeing their sincere efforts fail, in June 10 and 11, SAMAHAN launched noise barrages to air out their grievances. In the first day of the noise barrage which lasted 5 minutes, a worker was violently dragged by the Hanjin Police Security (HPS) towards their patrol car sparking tensions, but just in time the worker was prevented from being whisked away by his other co-workers. In the second day of the noise barrage which lasted for an hour. Elements of the Special Action Force (SAF) were dispatched to the area as requested by the Hanjin management but no tensions were reported.

 

Gonzales added that “Instead of listening to our legitimate demands, they answer back with force. We do not want any fights; we just wanted the Hanjin management to listen to us.”

 

For its part, a political labor and trade union center Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN), lambasted the Labor Department for their inaction on the Hanjin issue. “Clearly, Hanjin is remiss in implementing both international and national laws on basic labor rights it should be made accountable for the deaths of its workers.”

 

The Roman Catholic Church through the NASSA CBCP was also concerned at the apparent compromise of workers’ safety as well as physical abuses by Korean company managers. Quoting from a social encyclical by the late Pope John Paul II, the Church emphasizes that “The human dignity of the worker must be recognized in labor; it cannot be bought and sold like a piece of merchandise.”

 

SAMAHAN appeals to President Noynoy Aquino to provide an urgent resolution to the Hanjin workers’ concerns by ensuring that they are properly represented in every investigation and consultation with the management on decision makings that involve their lives and livelihood.

 

Gonzales ends, “If he is really keen in leading the country to a straight path, then he must start by looking after the welfare of the workers of the Hanjin shipyard, as well as the Filipino workers as a whole.” ###


Letter to HHIC-Phils. Inc. by the Social Action Center of Zambales

Diocese of Iba

SOCIAL ACTION CENTER OF ZAMBALES (SACZ)

Pope John XXIII Community Center

# 5   12th St., cor.  Gallagher, East Tapinac, Olongapo City, Philippines 2200

Telefax: (047) 222-2050   saczambales@yahoo.com

 

 

 

June 15, 2011

 

 

Mr. Taek Kyun Yoo

General  Manager

External Trade Part

HHIC Philippines, Incorporated

 

Dear Mr. Yoo:

Last May14, 2011 our office received a copy furnished letter addressed to you by SAMAHAN. Some officers and members of the same group visited our office to discuss the content of the letter. You are aware that SACZ has committed itself to the workers and to HHIC to serve as bridge where open dialogue could ensue in the spirit of charity and respect when need arises. SAMAHAN approached us to ask our help in communicating to you their request for a dialogue to address the remaining issues that still affect some of the people working in your company.

We have also been informed that some of the Filipino workers have started a noise barrage during lunch break starting May 30, 2011. It was reported to us that there were also series of suspension of workers and allegedly it was done without due process, and related to their being members of SAMAHAN. There was also a report that a Korean supervisor was hurt by a group of Filipino workers when they saw that one of their co-workers was dragged away.

SAMAHAN told us that they are afraid that the unrest among workers is building up. The noise barrage might continue unless the request for a dialogue happens.

The center is now concerned that it these were true, then, many people might be affected later. We all agree how your company has helped the nation’s economy by providing thousands of jobs. You have assured us how your company value safety, the rule of law and respect for each other. We also believe that a healthy work environment could only happen if there is a conscious respect for the dignity of all persons.

We would like then to bridge the gap of misunderstanding by asking you of your plans how to address the current issues. How do you plan to respond to the request of SAMAHAN for a committee that will sit in dialogue? Are there things you want us to communicate to the SAMAHAN to better understand your position?

We hope that by writing to you, the Church could help in closing the gap of miscommunication.

Again, we thank you for the help you have extended to our communities, especially the poor. We hope to hear from you soon.

 

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Rev. Fr. Hanival Brucelas

Director

Social Action Center of Zambales

 

 


Church Calls on Pnoy: Safe, Humane Working Conditions at Hanjin

PRESS RELEASE

June 14, 2011

Church Calls on Pnoy: Safe, Humane Working Conditions at Hanjin

MANILA, Philippines – Today, the National Secretariat for Social Action- Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) appealed to the Aquino administration in behalf of the twenty one thousand strong workers of Subic-based Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, Inc. (HHICPI) to speedily resolve long-standing issues on work safety plaguing the giant shipping company.

            Earlier, CBCP –NASSA already called the attention of Hanjin management on the lack of compliance to guidelines for occupational health and safety which are standards recognized here and abroad to ensure no loss of life or limb inside the yard.

According to SAMAHAN (Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard), they recorded last March 8- 15 six fatalities out of five accidents. By April 8- 15, there were four accidents where two workers died. There are also non-fatal accidents which range from minor skin wounds, swollen and irritated eyes from over-exposure to welding fumes and metal fillings and a loss of a limb or two. The long queue at the small clinic everyday is a testimony to how dangerous shipyard work is.

There were also cases of physical abuse and ill-treatment recorded last May 10 committed by Korean superior Mr. Yoon Ki Cheol who hurled an industrial scissor and hit the right leg of Jenepher Abejo, a Filipino welder. Another incident has Mr. Woo Yeon Lee strangling Christopher Alejandro, another Filipino worker last May 28.

SAMAHAN also appealed to President Noynoy Aquino to make a move in behalf of the workers of the yard who go to work fearful for their lives and safety.

“This trend is reminiscent of the 2008 series of deaths, accidents and abuse that has made a graveyard out of the shipyard,” Joey Gonzales, Secretary of SAMAHAN stated.

Ironically, the incidents happen amid the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) effort to conduct cultural orientation training and monitoring duties of its TASK FORCE HANJIN.

The Roman Catholic Church through the NASSA CBCP was also concerned at the apparent compromise of workers’ safety as well as physical abuses by Korean company managers. Quoting from a social encyclical by the late Pope John Paul II, the Church emphasizes that “The human dignity of the worker must be recognized in labor; it cannot be bought and sold like a piece of merchandise.”

Attorney Ernesto Arellano of the National Union of Building and Wood Workers (NUBCW-BWI) explained that during the peak of the deaths in 2008, the workers struggled to organize themselves into a union which the management contested for almost four years. It resulted in eighteen cases of illegal dismissal, affecting forty workers which largely remain unresolved.

“Sans the union, the workers association (SAMAHAN) proceeded to demand what is only stated in the Labor Code such as implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Standards like providing adequate and quality personal protective equipment or PPE and building a 300-bed hospital facility instead of a mere clinic; taking steps to prevent maltreatment; provide healthy and clean food and the reinstatement of the 40 illegally dismissed workers. They even wrote management more than once to call attention to their plight,” added Arellano.

“Our demands went unheard and management retaliated by suspending five of our leaders.” Gonzales lamented.

Noise Barrage

SAMAHAN led a noise barrage last June 10 for five minutes where a worker was dragged by Hanjin security to a waiting patrol car but was saved by fellow workers. The noise barrage the next day lasted for almost an hour and elements of the Special Action force were sent to the yard but no violence erupted.

For its part, a political labor and trade union center Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN), lambasted the Labor Department for their inaction on the Hanjin issue. “Clearly, Hanjin is remiss in implementing both international and national laws on basic labor rights it should be made accountable for the deaths of its workers.”

Gonzales ends, “If he is really keen in leading the country to a straight path, then he must start by looking after the welfare of the workers of the Hanjin shipyard, as well as the Filipino workers as a whole.” ###


Letter to the management of HHIC-Phils. Inc

May 26, 2011

Mr. Taek Kyun Yoo

General Manager,

External Trade Part

HHIC Phil. Inc.

 

Through:

Mr. Agapito Manacmol

HRD Manager

HHIC Phil. Inc.

 

Dear Mr. Taek,

Greetings!

We would like to follow-up our letter to your office last March 15, 2011. We appreciate your initial effort to address some issues mentioned in our said letter, still the issues we raised especially on Occupational Health and Safety Standards and maltreatment need your immediate attention. And that these concerns be seriously attended to and resolved with our participation.

Once more we reiterate our request to create a committee that will address the following remaining issues:

  1.  Immediate reinstatement of eighteen (18) cases involving around forty (40) individuals of arbitrary dismissal of workers spanning from 2008 up to present, as well as the case of five (5) suspended workers just recently.
  2. Creation of mechanism to effectively address the repeated occurrences of work related accidents and diseases at the workplace like the recurrence of fatal accidents resulting in deaths or serious injuries.
  3. Provide adequate supply of safety gadgets and Personnel Protective Equipments (PPE’s) to all workers.
  4. Provide workers with sufficient and healthy / nutritious food.
  5. The recurrence of cases of maltreatment that result in physical harm and serious injuries to workers.

We believe that together, we can positively resolve the above mentioned issues.

We look forward to your prompt response on the matter at hand.

 

Sincerely,

 

Alfie F. Alipio

SAMAHAN- President

 

CC:

Hon. Leopoldo B. De Jesus                                        Atty. Jasmin Navarro-Regino

DOLE RO 3, OIC                                                          Regional HR Director

Regional Government Center,                                    Commission on Human Rights

Barangay Maimpis,                                                    3/F Keyheng Bldg., Dolores Junction,

City of San Fernando, Pampanga                               City of San Fernando, Pampanga

 

 

Fr. Hanibal G. Brucelas                                             Ms. Ma. Lourdes O. Berin

Director – Social Action Center of Zambales              Executive Trustee                                           Pope Pius II – 12th St., corner Gallagher              Urban Missionaries (UM- AMRSP)             City of Olongapo, Zambales                                           #70 Main Horseshoe Drive, 1112                                                                                                       Quezon City

 

Bp. Broderick Pabillo, D.D His Excellency –              His Excellency BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III
CBCP-NASSA / Caritas PHILIPPINES                            President of the Republic of the Philippines 470 Gen. Luna Street, Intramuros,                             New Exec. Bldg., Malacañang Palace Compound Manila, Philippines                                                                J. P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila