San Simon, Pampanga -- A group of workers, who reportedly suffered maltreatment and illegal detention from their Chinese employer, have filed criminal complaints against a steel manufacturing firm shortly after they were rescued by government authorities over the weekend.
The group also filed a separate case before the office of the Department of Labor and Employment 3 for alleged unfair labor practice and non-compliance of some provisions in the labor laws.
The rescue operation was launched after families and relatives of laborers at the Real Steel Factory sought assistance from authorities due to alleged inhuman treatment by the owner of the steel smelter plant situated at Barangay Sampaloc here.
“There are some violations including illegal deductions of salaries, health and life balance that we have noted during inspection and interview with workers inside the steel factory,” said DOLE3 Director Maria Zenaida Angara Campita.
Another complaint, Campita said., is that the workers were not allowed to go out of the factory compound for six months, “which is a violation of the quarantine protocols.”
“Napakahaba ng six months na lockdown para sa mga employees. Maganda ang intensyon pero hindi naipaliwanag ng management kaya nagkaproblema. The management said it wanted to maintain healthy and safe environment of their workers.” Campita said over the phone.
Real Steel factory has 400 employees excluding 15 Chinese who are mostly holding the supervisory positions. The Filipino workers were recruited from as far as Visayas and Mindanao and do not even know how to write.
Campita said she invited Real Steel and the complaining workers to a formal meeting today (Tuesday) for the DOLE 3 to hear both sides before a final decision will be made, but said that the steel factory management has face the consequences of their action.
“Kailngan meron managot sa mga labor laws violations,” Campita said.
Local police in San simon town has acknowledged the criminal complaints, including serious physical injuruies, illegal possession of firearms of Chinese employees, and other offenses by Chinese employees.
“Aalamin natin kung bakit meron baril ang Chinese employees sa loob ng pabrika at iimbistigahan din natin ang diumano pamamaril at pananakit sa mga empleyado,” said Police Major Greg Santos, police chief here.
Santos said he will ask the court to issue search warrant against Real Steel to get the firearms of Chinese workers. “Much better if steel factory management will surrender the Chinese who were allegedly involved in the incident.”