Restive Hanjin workers protest alleged abuses, seek election certification

Posted 6 years ago

LEADERS AND WORKERS of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC) marched to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office in Olongapo-Zambales Aug. 18 to air their grievances against the management of the shipyard company, in particular about alleged violations of workers’ rights and human rights, and also to push their petition for the certification election scheduled at the end of this month.

By Patrick Roxas

Restive Hanjin workers protest alleged abuses, seek election certification
Hanjin workers march

Assisted by the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Pilipinong Organisado-Trade Union

Congress of the Philippines (AMAPO-TUCP), the group went to the labor office to show support to their leaders who were then meeting with their Hanjin counterparts to discuss the certification election scheduled Aug. 29-30.

The certification election is needed for the workers to put up a labor union inside the shipyard to handle the rights of the workers of Hanjin.

Some of the workers who joined the march complained to the media of alleged sexual harassment, physical harm by their Korean supervisors, and other unfair labor practices.

The Subic Sun tried to talk to one of the representatives of Hanjin to get their side on the workers’ complaints as well as on the certification election but none of the three who attended the meeting gave comment saying they need to discuss it with management before speaking to the media.

Hanjin started operations in Subic Bay in 2006 and is now ranked as the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world.

Its operations at the shipbuilding facility, however, has been has been marked by at least 39 recorded deaths and hundreds of injuries over the years even prompting a congressional inquiry in 2009.

Aside from deaths and injuries, Hanjin was also involved in a number of controversies because of alleged workers abuses by Korean supervisors that have been posted on social media.

AMAPO-TUCP President Bobby Flores said the certification election is going to push through. The venue will be decided by both parties on the meeting scheduled Aug. 25, he adds.

According to Flores, about 30,000 of the 33,000 workers of Hanjin hired under-18 subcontractors. These workers are now members of the union, Flores says.

The workers are seeking a certification to be able to negotiate for a Collective Bargaining Agreement.


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