Workers to seek protection in the workplace this year

from January 3, 2018 01:00 am to January 3, 2018 01:00 am

Workers are looking to campaign for safety in the workplace this year in response to two gruelling cases of fire last year that had claimed the lives of a number of laborers.

Labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) will be seeking this year the protection of workers from danger hazards in the workplace. This came to be the group’s renewed campaign for a safe and secured workplace following a year that had two deadly fires that claimed the lives of dozens of workers.

In a text message to the BusinessMirror, ALU-TUCP Spokesman Alan A. Tanjusay said their group would carry on with its agenda of abolishing contractualization both in the public and private sector.

However, this year he said ALU-TUCP will fight for safer workplace so as to assure workers are not put in danger while performing their duty.

“The main problem is on enforcement of [safety] standards and compliance,” Tanjusay said. “We are a member of [the] Construction Industry Tripartite Council [CITC] made of labor [groups], government [officials] and employers to craft or review the [safety] standards in the country, and members of the CITC are compliant. The problem is those who are not members of the CITC and those who are fly-by-night contractors and employers.”

He pointed out that the labor department is extremely lacking manpower tasked to inspect workplaces’ safety standards.

“As for enforcement, the Department of Labor and Employment [DOLE] needs more labor inspectors. There are only 550 labor inspectors to inspect almost 1 million work establishments [in the country],” he said.

He also said their group is assisting the DOLE to get higher funding to be able to employ the needed inspectors. This is apart from their efforts to sit with President Duterte on the issue of safety and health standards in the workplace.

On top of this, Tanjusay said, ALU-TUCP will take part in the  finalization of the Duterte administration’s infrastructure program.

“We [will participate in the] planning and strategy on how to make ‘Build, Build, Build,’ or the golden age of infrastructure, also inclusive to workers and their families. [The infrastructure projects] must be built by workers who are protected by functional occupational safety and health standards. Workers who will build these infrastructure must be regular workers who are safe,” he said.