Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, November 14, 2008

Workers say Korean bosses abusive

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Two Korean foremen of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines Inc. have filed a case for physical injuries against eight Filipinos working at the company’s shipyard in Subic, Zambales.

While the case appears to be minor, it could mirror the growing dissatisfaction among Filipino workers in the shipyard with the way they were being treated by their Korean supervisors.

Kim San Jeon and Ki Jung Gang filed the complaint at the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.

They claimed that Albert Mangubat, Romualdo Alipio, Julius Cao, Rico Manangat, Marlon Mojica, Lorjim Gonzales, Errol Lapuz and Carlo Leo Castillo beat them up at 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 10.

The eight workers, all employed at the machinery department, are natives of Masbate, Samar, Zambales and Tarlac.


Records showed that Hanjin’s security department turned them over to the police 12 hours later. The police detained them at the Subic station and released them at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Castillo said he and his co-workers said they only fought back because they felt they were being maltreated.

“Napuno na ho kami. Araw-araw, nananakit sila kahit kaunting mali lang. Tinutuktok nila kami sa helmet, sinisipa, minumura (Our patience has run out. Every day, they hurt us for minor mistakes. They knock on our helmet, kick us or curse us),” said Castillo.

The case was the fourth beating incident at the shipyard this year over alleged maltreatment by foreign supervisors.

Jeon and Gang denied maltreating the workers and said they were enforcing discipline during work hours.

A Hanjin official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to give an official statement, confirmed the incident.

He said it should not have happened, saying this could have been due to cultural differences.

Reports from the People’s Task Force on Hanjin and Subic Bay Inc. showed at least four cases filed against Hanjin supervisors this year.

Domingo Ecaldre, 40, sued four Chinese supervisors who allegedly strangled him on Aug. 13.

Daniel Lacambra, 29, filed a case for physical injuries against Park Chang Ho in October.

Carlos de la Cruz complained of damage to property and physical injuries against Hanjin security manager Ji Ho Jin.


The barangay council of Cawag filed a case against Hanjin general manager Pyeong Jong Yu for allegedly coddling Jin who did not appear in mediations despite several notices.

Aside from the cases of physical violence, the shipyard has been haunted by the deaths of several workers in work-related incidents.

The SBMA has ordered an investigation of the fatal accidents at the Hanjin shipyard even as it penalized the South Korean firm for safety lapses.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza was quoted earlier as saying the agency’s Occupational Health and Safety Office conducted a full investigation of the accidents.

By Tonette Orejas - Philippine Daily Inquirer

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