Unions support mining firm-A A +A
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
LABOR groups within Philex Mining Corporation (PMC) are backing the firm.
Ka Undo Mataro, supervising officer of both the Philex Mining Supervisory Employees Union (PMSEU) and the Philex Rank-and-File Employees Union (PRFEU), said there are no irregularities in salary payment or overtime compensation allegedly committed by the mine company.
“These allegations are obviously meant to advance a group’s interests and gain media mileage in order to be heard,” Mataro said.
He said “they have been paid for all the overtime work rendered by their members, and protective gears are issued to all workers -- whether regular or contractual.”
Both labor groups rallied in support for the company.
Mataro said allegations that Philex did not pay the workers “has no factual basis, saying the company has documentary evidence to refute this.”
Mataro added there are minor illnesses like diarrhea, headache, and body pains among employee-volunteers at the site but he assured “these have been taken care of by PMC’s medical personnel, headed by Dr. Mariele Ventenilla, who report to the site daily.”
Allegedly, workers with history of minor illnesses were assigned to lighter jobs.
Mataro said the company provides workers personal protective equipment while working, additional safety gears, such as belt harness and nylon ropes, were assigned to those doing the cleanup of Balog Creek.
“There is no way the company would allow our union members, in particular, and its workers, in general, to carry out their work without safety gears [especially in the cleanup of the Balog Creek],” he said.
Mataro added those who are protesting groups he tagged as “leftists” are disgruntled workers of the company.
“[They are] desperately wanting to put up their own labor union with [a] left-leaning agenda, wanting to disrupt [the] harmonious relationship between management and the two labor unions,” the labor leader said.
It was the Kilusang Mayo Uno and the Cordillera People’s Alliance that initially alleged Philex has been remiss in payments of salaries and overtime pay of workers assigned to the cleanup tasks.
The two groups added the safety and health of workers at the Balog River clean-up site were compromised.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 10, 2012.