Labor union worried over Philex workers-A A +A
Sunday, September 16, 2012
MILITANTS are worried over the health and rights of Philex Mining Corporation employees.
Kilusang Mayo Uno chairman Victor Delem said the workers of the mining firm said their overtime pay is not being paid.
Delem said workers were forced to wake up hours before their scheduled time to hike toward the Balog River and then hike back to their homes after work, reaching homes early evening.
Philex employees are reportedly working a lone shift now that the mines have temporarily closed. Regular employees are the only ones working, taking out project based workers and contractual.
Only eight hours is paid by the company, even if workers go on overtime and walk to and from the site since there are no service rides provided.
Delem is concerned for the safety of workers who are forced to handle toxic waste.
Delem said workers have not been complaining of burning itchy sensations since the cleanup has begun but no doctors nor medical personnel have been assigned to their care.
Workers at the site told Delem, there is no safety equipment given to them while cleaning the Balog River. There are no gloves, mouthpieces and boots issued for their use.
Since the closure of Philex mines in August 1, workers have been assigned to clean up the spill of the tailings pond 3. Reportedly, there have been four leaks since.
However, the mine firm has been consistent in saying the spill is non-toxic, backed by a certification from the BFAR lifting a fishing ban after the first leak.
The BFAR is at the moment testing the waters of the river after the other leaks occurring after August 1. Until there is a new certification, the agency is maintaining the ban.
Windel Bolinget Cordillera People’s Alliance said the leak is not only sedimentation of the river it is a complete contamination. (Ma. Elena Catajan)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 17, 2012.