City of San Fernando, Pampanga—Laborers and other workers at the Real Steel Corporation have been treated well by the management as they are provided with airconditioned barracks and three square meals daily while the entire town of San Simon and the province of Pampanga are under health quarantine due to coronavirus pandemic.
These were the findings made by Department of Labor and Employment 3 director Maria Zenaida Angara-Campita during routine and complaint inspection accompanied by the regional field officers at the compound of the steel factory at Barangay San Isidro, San Simon town.
This followed reports on alleged maltreatment and violations of the occupational safety and health standards of workers.
During the inspection tour, Campita noted the living quarters of stay-in laborers were fully airconditioned with sufficient running water for their sanitation.
“The company observes health standard and that was the reason why the workers were not allowed to go out because of their safety and to prevent them from being exposed outside due to coronavirus,” said Campita.
She added that safety and health protocols like foot bath and hand sanitizers were being observed before entering the premises of the steel plant.
But she noted minor violations found during random interviews although she said corrective measures had been put up to improve the operations and management of the steel factory.
Campita also denied allegations by Erwin Tulfo in his radio and television program on the rescue operations of employees as claimed by Tutok Tulfo posts on social media, saying the workers voluntarily tendered their resignation.
There was no comment immediately available from Tulfo.
“Honestly I was surprised of (sic) the rescue story. There was no one to be rescued as they voluntarily resigned in the first place,” said Campita during a phone interview.
RSC has more than 400 employees and only 42 filed their resignation not because they were maltreated or they were abused in their work place.
She said those who resigned had appealed to management to consider them back and be reinstated.
The DOLE3 director said the 42 workers were now considered as locally stranded individuals and temporarily staying at the municipal hall building while waiting for the travel papers to be processed. The local government unit and the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided a pack of grocery items for each of them.
“They were under the custody of San Simon LGU while waiting for the compensation from the RSC,” said Campita, adding the steel factory management assured the 42 workers of their compensation including unpaid wages amounting to more than a million pesos scheduled on TSept 29.
She said computation had been made already and the RSC promised that they would release the money to the workers during a meeting at the DOLE3 office on Tuesday.