Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, July 06, 2009

Registration of Hanjin union stalled anew

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Efforts to register a union for over 15,000 Filipino workers at the shipyard of the Korean-owned Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Philippines Inc. (HHICPI) at the Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales have been delayed.

Denied thrice since March by the Department of labor and Employment (DOLE) in Central Luzon, the application of the HHICPI Workers Union was referred to the DOLE’s legal services unit in late June to settle the confusion on the autonomy of HHICPI and its subcontractors, said Nathaniel Lacambra, DOLE regional director, on Sunday.

“The crux of the issue now is, ‘Who really is their employer?”” Lacambra said.

HHICPI, KC Tech (KECC or Korean Engineering Consulting Corp.) and the Greenbeach Power Tech Corp. are “one and the same or at least HHICPI clearly holds the majority of the shares of stock of KC Tech or KECC,” said union president Melchor Remedios in an appeal to the DOLE on June 15.

The union cited a news item on the HHIC website saying KC Tech or KECC is an HHIC subsidiary. The union also presented documents from SEC showing that KC Tech, also registered as KECC, has changed its name to Greenbeach Power Tech Corp.

Taek-Kyun Yoo, HHICPI general manager, said the company and Greenbeach are “100 percent different and independent companies registered [with the Securities and Exchange Commission] and DOLE under Philippine laws.”

“The allegation has no legal basis,” Yoo told the INQUIRER on Sunday.

Remedios said workers were issued identification cards that they work for, among others, HHICPI, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Development Training Center and KC Tech.

“They were transferred from one subcontractor to another with the same jobs, same work place and same superiors; some of them even have a time card under HHICPI and a different pay slip, among other confusing information and documents they have at hand,” Remedios said.

He said union members have two things in common: They were issued Greenbeach IDs and signed employment contracts with the same firm.

The union was organized in July last year.

Greenbeach is among the 13 Hanjin subcontractors that registered with DOLE as of March, a report obtained from the labor agency showed.

--By. Tonette Orejas – Inquirer

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