Save the lives of Filipino Shipbuilders, Put Safety First

Here, for the information of CULE members, is an update from MAKABAYAN on the situation at the Hanjin Shipyard

For Immediate Release

Subic, Zambales- “Shipbuilding is a high risk job; laxity on safety measures turns a shipyard into a gravely dangerous zone” this is the statement of Alfie Alipio, President of Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard (SAMAHAN) in response to the accident that occurred yesterday at the Subic Shipyard or PHILSECO a shipbreaker company after a portion of a scaffold collapsed claiming the lives of five Pinoy workers while injuring six others.

“This horrible accident puts into the limelight the struggle for workplace safety of the Filipino workers in HANJIN’s Subic shipyard,” said Precy Dagooc, secretary general of labor center Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN). Adding that, “if this accidents could happen in a company (PHILSECO) that strictly implements health and safety rules how much more in HANJIN a South Korean shipbuilding giant whose laxity on health and safety implementation caused for the death of 4 workers out of 28 serious accidents in the last five months.


It can be recalled that last October 4, 2011 the Commission on Human Rights called for a dialogue with the management of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Phils. Inc. (HHICPI), the Task Force Hanjin headed by the Region III labor department, SAMAHAN and the Church Labor Conference.

The initial dialogue exposed a wide gap in health and safety implementation, the labor department’s leniency in compelling HANJIN to comply in Philippine and internationally recognized labor laws such as the right to workplace safety, right to self-organization and collective bargaining agreement.

“The rise of work-related deaths and the lack of financial support to the families of the victims is also a growing concern,” noted Alipio, “last May 27 another worker Aries Ariel Aquillo died from multi organ malfunction his family only received a Php 2, 000 donation from the HAnjin management.”

MAKABAYAN alongside the Church Labor Conference demands onto P.Noy to bring justice to the Filipinos, uphold human dignity and save the lives of the 21,000 shipbuilders; HANJIN must comply to Philippine labor laws. ###

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