LABOR groups have asked the Labor department to punish employers of exhausted construction workers involved in finishing last-minute sites for the Southeast Asian Games.
“Pushing construction workers to work beyond the standard eight-hour work period poses serious threats to their health and safety,” Gerard R. Seno, vice president of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, said in a statement yesterday. The practice, he added, violates workers’ rights.
Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines in a separate statement said some workers were seen not wearing safety gear. It said the Labor department should “investigate the mode of operation of the Philippine SEA Games 2019 hosting team and the state of their workers in terms of the occupational safety and health standards.”
“The government’s lack of readiness and incompetence in its SEA Games 2019 preparations must not cross over and manifest on the protection and promotion of our workers’ rights and welfare,” Defend Jobs President Christian Lloyd Magsoy said.
The outcry of the labor groups comes after DoLE on Tuesday said it might file administrative charges against employers and contractors who violate labor standards and wage guidelines.
ALU-TUCP said it is concerned about the recent accidents at the Rizal Memorial Stadium involving two workers who fell off a scaffolding.
One worker injured his leg while another had a fractured skull. The labor group said the workers have been working for almost a day to complete the construction. Twenty-five more workers at the site had been exhausted, it added.
“This is a clear case of a coercive policy environment for workers to work even beyond their limit, causing over-fatigue and exhaustion,” the labor groups said.
“Work over-fatigue is the leading cause of workplace mishaps deaths, injury and handicap anywhere in the world,” Mr. Seno said. — GMC