Rush to complete SEA Games venues imperils workers – labor group
MANILA, Philippines — Rushing to complete sports facilities in time for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is placing workers at risk, a labor group warned Tuesday.
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) vice-chair Lito Ustarez said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should now step in and look into the possibility that construction workers may already be overworked as the 2019 SEA Games organizing committee tries to meet their deadlines. The 30th SEA Games will formally begin on Saturday, November 30, or barely four days from today.
“Overworked and working overtime for the completion of structures for the SEA Games, workers’ health and safety are at risk. We ask the Department of Labor and Employment to look into this matter, and intervene immediately,” Ustarez said in a statement.
“We would like to ask the responsible agencies and government officials in charge of the SEA Games preparation: Do you have enough workers to do the job? Are the workers being forced to work overtime? Are they being compensated with the correct pay?” he added.
The statement from the KMU leader came after a certain Richard delos Santos from Tondo, Manila, sustained injuries from falling off the scaffolding at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“We lament the incident and what a construction worker has to suffer when government officials fail to fulfil its duties and obligations in hosting the SEA Games. We are appalled with government’s neglect and incompetence on this matter. What we have been fearing has actually happened,” he said.
“We do not want any more accidents to happen with our workers,” he also noted.
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is one of the venues for the 2019 SEA Games. Its current unfinished condition drew criticisms for the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc). The first football game staged at the stadium Monday even went on without a scoreboard.
Aside from this, foreign teams and media outlets have also called out the organizers for late and crowded shuttles, miscommunication on hotel accommodation, and inappropriate breakfast for athletes.
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan has said that the Philippines’ hosting of this year’s regional biennial multi-sports event is becoming “a national embarrassment.”
Edited by KGA
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