Hanjin Heavy Industries Workers in Terrible Conditions (Philippines)

Hanjin Heavy Industries, is a South Korean shipbuilding company which is a notorious abuser of workers and the environment. The company has refused to address the terrible conditions that the employees toil under. Hanjin Heavy Industries has a shipyard in the Philippines inside the Subic Bay Freeport zone, northwest of Manila. The South Korean firm is responsible for exploiting locals under dangerous working environments, but Hanjin officials have been trying to dodge the blame as they are ruthless, and rebuke the allegations, claiming that the accidents and deaths resulted from the workers’ not having taken safety precautions. However, a recent state report declared that Hanjin has underpaid its workers, cost-of-living allowances, overtime and holiday wages. Laborers were also not given proper safety gear such as gas masks or goggles while on duty. So far, nothing is being done to address the workers concerns. The workplace, which has churned out orders for 42 vessels, bulk carriers and oil tankers so far, is so life-threatening that one Philippine congressman labeled it a “graveyard.”

Hanjin’s Subic facility was built due to capacity constraints in Korea, and it is currently building its second shipyard in the southern Philippines, which is set for completion in 2017. Hanjin is used to trampling on workers rights and has often combated the fierce unions in South Korea, with psychological pressure causing one union official to suicide himself from a construction crane after the company repossessed his house, in an infamous case from 2009.

325 was sent this message on 21/8/2010 from an anonymous worker at Hanjin Heavy Industries, Subic Bay Freeport Zone:

“I’m a worker at Hanjin Heavy Industries Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phils Inc.) Workers in this company are constantly suffering from low pay, Harassment from Korean Bosses, unsafe working standards, and we are sometimes given food that is stale, rotten with maggots and inadequate. Aside from this Hanjin does not recognize all workers as there own but the management insist that we are employees of Korean sub-contractors that are not even registered at the local Department of Labor and Employment. Due to this sub-contractualization we lost most of our benefits and job security. In the past few years since Hanjin started operation in 2006, there have been about 30 deaths due to accidents in the shipyard, and even up to the present deaths are still happening. The government is doing nothing to help the more than 16,000 workers in the shipyard, but rather is biased in favour of the management. For the past few years many politicians have used the plight of the Hanjin workers as a tool to win votes for election by posing to help the workers, but in reality they are only using it as an instrument for propaganda. Many workers are disgusted about how the Philippino government and politicians are manipulating the issues regarding Hanjin. WE NEED HELP.. DESPERATELY… FOR THE PLIGHT OF WORKERS… WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS.
What ever you can do to help us is appreciated. please include us in your advocacy.”

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This entry was posted on Saturday, August 21st, 2010 at 8:50 pm and is filed under Autonomy, Social Control.