Filipino unionists call for probe on growing number of work-related deaths

Alarmed at the growing number of work-related deaths in the span of two months, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) called on the Philippines’ labour department to conduct a formal investigation on the matter and prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future. 

In a statement, FFW asserted that “workers’ lives are not mere figures in statistics.” “One death is too many. The government must act to prevent other work-related incidents like what happened in the last two months,” the labour group said. 

On Saturday, it was reported that a steel man, who was working around 70 meters up at the side of one of the posts of the Cebu-Cordova bridge, died after he fell when the plank he was stepping on gave way. The said worker landed at the foot of the concrete bridge post with broken bones and skull and later died.

On 22 August, a construction worker was injured after he was pinned down from a fallen backhoe which he was operating in a quarry site, also in Cebu City.

Last 11 July, six construction workers were found dead in a work-related accident in Tagaytay City. 

Citing the country’s Labour Code, FFW said that Filipino workers must enjoy a place of employment free from hazardous conditions. “Employers shall give complete job safety instructions or orientation to all workers; they are also mandated to comply with occupational safety and health standards,” the BWI affiliate said. 

FFW sounded the alarm at the conclusion of its three-day 25th National Convention on 28 August. In the said event, about 200 FFW union delegates re-elected Atty. Sonny Matula and Arlene Golloso (Ateneo de Davao Union) as National President and Board member respectively.

Jun Mendoza of the Vishay Phils Union and 30 other leaders were elected National Vice President and new FFW officers of FFW for the term 2022-2027.