• A A A

    Victims Organising

    Philippines Supreme Court sides with Kentex workers, orders manager to pay laborers ₱1.4M for unpaid wages

    July 31, 2019

    The Supreme Court sided with workers of Kentex Manufacturing Corporation, ordering the footwear factory that was razed by a fire in 2015 to pay its employees their unpaid wages.

    The high court reinstated the Labor Department’s 2015 order that Kentex general manager and treasurer Ong King Guan should pay 57 workers a total amount of ₱1.44 million in money claims.

    The SC decision, issued on July 8 and released to the media on Friday, effectively reversed the Court of Appeals 2017 verdict that Ong was not “personally and solidarily liable.”

    The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the appellate court’s decision discharging Ong from liability for underpaid wages, non-payment of 13th month pay, and unauthorized deduction of cash bond.

    The Supreme Court reinstated the DOLE-NCR order issued in June 2015 that Ong should pay 57 workers an aggregate amount of ₱1.44 million in money claims.

    On May 13, 2015, a fire broke out in a two-storey factory owned by Kentex in Valenzuela, which claimed 72 lives and injured a number of workers.

    Source : CNN Philippines, July 2, 2019

    Link : https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/7/26/Supreme-Court-Kentex-wages.html?fbclid=IwAR2EaqidkfUXQr9uHhQpZMUv4iruS46cqmkIyCOWkybZCj2awvQ2NAsa-K8

    India ruling could allow millions of home workers to access benefits

    July 31, 2019

    A ruling by India’s top court that a garment firm must pay pensions to women who worked from home in the 1990s could help millions of “invisible” workers access staff benefits, labour rights activists said on Friday.

    The Supreme Court this week directed Godavari Garments Limited to make pension payments of more than 1 million Indian rupees ($14,491) to the women it employed within a month, saying the fact they had worked at home did make them ineligible.

    The ruling could affect millions of women not given employee status because they work from home, a common practice in India’s garment sector.

    The industry employs more than 12 million people in factories, but millions more work from home, according to a study by the University of California released earlier this year.

    “This is a very welcome decision because it acknowledges the home as a workplace and women working from home as employees,” said Shalini Sinha, a specialist with the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising.

    “Acknowledgement of the employer-employee relationship will have far-reaching impact on ensuring social security and benefits for millions of such workers,” she said.

    There are estimated to be 37 million home based workers across various sectors in India, but Sinha said the true figure was likely higher.

    Besides being denied minimum wages, home-workers get no social security or medical benefits from employers and have virtually no avenue to seek redress for abusive or unfair conditions, the University of California report said.

    The case the Supreme Court ruled on dates back to 1991, when the government first issued notices accusing Godavari Garments of defaulting on payments to the Employees’ Provident Fund, India’s state-run pension fund.

    The manufacturer argued that the work could have been done by anyone and as it had no supervisory control over the seamstresses, they were not employees.

    But the court rejected that, saying since the manufacturer had the right to reject defective work, it had supervisory control.

    Charity worker Karrupu Samy said the number of women working from home without proper benefits in the sector was growing.

    “We are seeing increasing numbers of manufacturers employ women who have a sewing machine in their homes to stitch,” said Samy, director of READ, which works with garment workers in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.


    “On paper they have very few employees they have to give social security to. The women working from homes don’t count, they remain invisible.”

    Source : Reuters| July 27 2019

    Rate of fatal accidents at workplace drops 14% in 2018 in Malaysia

    July 21, 2019

    The rate of fatal accidents at the workplace dropped by 14% (4.14/100,000 workers) last year compared to 4.90/100,000 in the previous year.

    Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the drop showed that there was greater awareness among employers and workers to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

    At the same time, the rate of accidents at the workplace also dropped by 18% during the same period.

    “The drop in the rate of accidents and deaths is due to greater awareness among employers and workers, as well as due to various programmes and initiatives carried out by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and other interested parties,” he said.

    Mahfuz was speaking at the closing ceremony of the national-level celebrations of the Occupational Safety and Health Week on 20 July 2019.

    He said a healthy and safe work environment was important in order to increase productivity of employees and the organisation, in order to boost the country’s economy.

    “Workplace accidents and ailments will occur if the employer and employee are not concerned with safety. If the statistics of fatal accident at two people a day in 2018 is the yardstick, something must be done fast to reduce it,” he said.

    Mahfuz said the DOSH was always working to increase effective enforcement to ensure all workplaces are safe.

    “For the record, 296,975 checks were conducted of workplaces and equipment this year and of these, 27,024 notices were issued, 945 offences compounded and 318 charges made in court for offences connected to safety and health in the workplace.

    (Source : https://www.thesundaily.my/local/rate-of-fatal-accidents-at-workplace-drops-14-in-2018-MY1133583)

    The Death Wells Of Balochistan

    July 18, 2019

    This is the umpteenth time that coal mines are the subject matter of an editorial. This is the umpteenth time that the plea of taking measures in this regard will fall on deaf ears. Nothing concerning poor ever concerns the authorities. Deaths after deaths every year that go unaccounted for in killer coal mines of Pakistan give credence to the bitter reality that poor’s life is cheap in this country.

    The ongoing operation to recover 11 miners trapped in Deagari area of Quetta has bleak chances of success. Death is a constant stalker of life in the coal mines of Pakistan. According to a finding, just in last one year, more than 160 labourers died while meeting accidents of one kind or another in the mines. And at least 300 miners in this period got injured because of poor safety conditions in these mines. Inarguably, these mines are the real death wells.

    But some things will never change in Pakistan: the callousness of our elected ministers and lethargy of the esteemed bureaucracy. The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Balochistan, Shafqar Fayyaz, tells us to remain calm as authorities were trying level best to take the workers out of the death trap.

    One could let an accident go if it is first of its kind. But the coal mine accidents are a routine now. When will the government change its perception about poor’s lives? When will the holders of power corridors realise that the poor’s blood is also red? Probably the poor make it to the lowest on the priority list of the state. Therefore, despite hundreds of casualties that happen in coalmines accidents every year, the authorities have taken no steps to minimise the human losses.

    But is inaction of the state in this regard a part of the neoliberal economic model that we are living under? Is state’s non-intervention part of the deregulation necessary for a neoliberal economy? At least, the state can force the owners of these mines to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the workers who mine as deep as 300 feet below surface level.

    What is mindboggling is the authorities’ little concern for enforcing the law. This editorial does not want the authorities to go out of the way to protect labourers’ lives. But it surely does ask the officials to ensure that the regulations framed under the Mines Act, 1923 are implemented fairly and squarely. The officials can save many lives even if they ensure practising of the safety and labour welfare regime of the said Act.

    Source : THE NATION | July 17, 2019

    Air pollution kills 100,000 Indian children every year, study says

    June 12, 2019

    The noxious air hanging over India’s towns and cities kills more than 100,000 children under five every year, a damning study published on 05th June 2019 for World Environment Day found. India has repeatedly failed to address environmental concerns. Last year a UN report found 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities were Indian.

    Despite calls to action against pollution around the globe, Indian politicians mostly side-stepped the issue in the last election.

    The State of India’s Environment (SoE) Report found air pollution is responsible for 12.5 percent of all deaths in the country — painting a bleak picture of the environmental record of recent Indian governments.

    Carried out by the non-profit group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), based in New Delhi, the report also found that 86 percent of Indian water bodies were “critically polluted.”

    In April, CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer met patients in the emergency ward of Delhi’s National Institute for Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases. Every one of them, in one way or another, were victims of Delhi’s filthy air. Between 800 and 1,000 people with lung problems line up at the ward every day for treatment.

    We have no non-smokers in India,” said Dr. Arvind Kumar, a prominent chest surgeon and founder of the Lung Care Foundation in India. Due to the air pollution in country, “everybody living in India is a smoker,” he said.

    At its worst, India’s air can be 70 times dirtier than what the World Health Organization considers safe.

    Slow progress

    CBS News’ Palmer met some private companies trying to make changes for the better, but the CSE report labelled the government’s progress in renewable energy, “dismal.”

    As of last month India had 280,000 electric vehicles, a fraction of the target of 15-16 million by 2020.

    India’s Greenhouse gas emissions rose more than 20 percent between 2010 and 2014, while its natural gas and hydroelectric plants were in a “shambles,” it continued.

    The report found gas-based power plants are running at 24 percent of their capacity, and hydropower projects are running at just 19 percent.

    “The country’s progress in renewable energy in 2018-19 has also been dismal,” the CSE said.

    “In wind, the country met only 6.3 per cent of the target this year. In solar, it met 5.86 per cent.”

    India also recorded a 56 percent rise in the number of industries creating hazardous waste between 2009 and 2016-17, while the number of grossly polluting industries soared 136 percent between 2011 and 2018.

    India is projected to add 416 million town and city dwellers to the world’s urban population by 2050.

    But Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently re-elected in a campaign in which climate change was barely mentioned, instead tweeted appealing to people to “live in harmony with nature” on World Environment Day.

    “We have been brought up in a tradition, where nature is equal to God. Where sanctity of nature is meaningful and where nature’s protection has been put at par with humans,” Modi said.

    “On this Environment Day we all need to spare some time to think what can we do to make our planet clean and green,” he said.

    Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/news/india-air-pollution-kills-100000-children-every-year-environment-study-says/

    « Page 1, 2, 3, 4 ... 7, »

    Slider by webdesign