We have always thought that the most wicked and violent form of slavery has ended many centuries ago. We were wrong when we found out what’s happening inside Hanjin Shipyard in Subic.

A labor department’s Occupational Safety and Health Standard (OSHS) director disclosed that based on its own investigation there were already some 5,000 reported accidents in Hanjin in the first two years of its operation.  Hanjin began its Philippine operations in 2006.

A report also has put the number of work related deaths at Hanjin reached 31; 11 cases of maltreatment by Korean superiors; 63 illegal termination; and 20 illegal suspension.

Workers also complain of spoiled foods being served to them, the rude physical treatment they are getting from their Korean superiors, and the low wages they receive since they are all employed through subcontractors.

This is their situation; this is how the hanjin workers have been denied of their right to a better and safe working condition. This is how these workers have been continuously deprived of their dignity as a human being.

While the foreign owners/capitalist gained huge profits, the Filipino workers in Hanjin are being treated like animals.

The youth being the next generation of workers were impelled to act on this. As the inheritors of this society we should never let this kind of injustice to continue.

The Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) throws its full support for the struggling workers of Hanjin.  We will spread their stories and their plight against their greedy capitalists.  We will convince our friends, our classmates to take this plight as their own. Together, we will fight for their dignity like what the sons and daughters do when their parents are in peril.

We are also urging the government to strictly enforce all safety standards in Hanjin and compel the company to observe the Philippine and international standards on decent work, including the workers’ right to organize — specifically the recognition of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin.

Labor is more important than profit or capital, it can only be realized if the workers are being recognized as one of the most important force in the economy and the society. Therefore, they deserve dignity and justice inside and outside of the work place.

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK)

July 5, 2011

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