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Workers kept inside buildings during quake? Dole urged to probe incident

/ 06:07 PM April 26, 2019
Alejano warns against China intervention in May 13 polls

PHOTO by Pathricia Ann V. Roxas/INQUIRER.net

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan — President Rodrigo Duterte should order the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to probe reports that some call center and mall employees were not allowed to leave their establishments during the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck parts of Luzon last Monday.

READ: Magnitude 6.1 earthquake shakes parts of Luzon

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This was the call of opposition senatorial candidates Erin Tañada, Romulo Macalintal and Gary Alejano on Friday before the start of “Talakayan 2019” senatorial and gubernatorial forum here.

Macalintal said if proven, the act constitutes “unfair labor practice.”

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“Sapagkat sinasabi sa ilalim ng ating Labor Code na kailangan protektahan mo ‘yung kalusugan, ‘yung kaligtasan ng kanilang mga empleyado. At kung ‘yan ay may katotohanan ay dapat talaga magkaroon ng proper invest ang Dole,” the veteran election lawyer added.

(Our Labor Code states that companies should protect the health and safety of employees. If those reports are proven right, there should be a proper investigation by Dole.

“The Office of the President should make specific instructions sa Dole kung ano ang dapat gawin sa mga companies (what to do with those companies),” he added.

Tañada, also a lawyer, backed Macalintal, saying employees could sue their employers for undue stress and damages.

“Illegal ‘yan eh. The Dole should investigate. Kung sila po ay pinipigilang bumaba pwede po silang kasuhan nyan ng mga tao kasi that is unncessary stress, they can be sued for damages,” the former congressman added.

(That is illegal. The Dole should investigate. If they were prevented from leaving the buildings, they can file a case because that caused them unnecessary stress. They can be sued for damages.)

Alejano, meanwhile, stressed that this should not happen “because, in any company, the primordial concern of the employees is their safety.”

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The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) earlier said it received several complaints from employees that their managers“kept them from going home and ordered them to return to work.”

“This company practice or policy is a form of abuse and it must be condemned because it imperils the lives of employees and jeopardizes the safety and health of workers,” TUCP president Raymond Mendoza said.

READ: Labor groups hit thoughtless employers

In a statement, SM Supermalls said: “the safety and well-being of our customers will always be our utmost priority.” /ee

READ: Mall chain clarifies policy on evacuation during emergency situations

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TAGS: DOLE, Earthquake, news, Philippines, workers
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