NURSES AND HEALTH workers of the University of Santo Tomas Hospital (USTH) in Manila are planning to mount a strike against against inhumane working conditions in the hospital.
Due to lack of employees in the hospital, nurses are required to render longer hours of work. This affects the quality of their service. They attested that majority of them are compelled to work for more 12 hours daily.
At present, the hospital has 965 employees, 579 of whom are union members. Majority of the union members voted in favor of the strike last February 11. They filed a notice of strike at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) after negotiations between the union and administration deadlocked.
They also exposed the prevalence of contractualization in the USTH. Newly employed workers are obliged to pay P5,000-P7,000.
Meanwhile, members of the Organization of Zagu Workers (ORGANIZA) conducted a prayer vigil last February 19 in front of the office of Zagu Food Corporation to oppose its unfair labor practices and plan to dismantle the union. Recently, ORGANIZA filed a notice of strike at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board.
In Baguio City, the lack of DOLE inspectors tasked to ensure occupational safety in workplaces was exposed. The regional DOLE office has only 16 labor inspectors who are also tasked to check on the operations of about 20,000 business establishments in the city. Meanwhile, there are only 800 inspectors tasked to check on the operations of more than 900,000 business establishments across the country.