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Metal workers hold 2nd annual consultation

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Workers from various unions and industries under the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP) held their 2nd Annual Consultation last November 13, 2007 at the Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

Auto workers from various Japanese car companies, unionists from the electronics industry, workers from other manufacturing companies got together to discuss pressing issues common among metal workers. One of the major discussion was on the proposed Japanese-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA. During the open forum following the discussion on JPEPA, workers aired their fear of more trade union rights violations by Japanese firms operating in the country, underscoring the labor disputes of workers from Toyota Motor Philippines, Honda Cars Philippines and Nissan Motor Philippines. Workers also raised their specific problems during the workshops.

“Metal workers face occupational health and safety (OHS) risks since most of the work involves the use of heavy machines and equipment. The level of noise is a common problem among them, along with prevalence of muscle and joint injuries due to manual lifting. Stress due to increasing production qouta contribute to workers OHS issues,” said Noel Colina, Executive Director of the Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (IOHSAD).

According to Colina, IOHSAD is very pleased they were invited to the MWAP Annual Consultation. “OHS is very important to metal workers, and to all workers in general and the invitation only shows the importance the MWAP places on workers health and safety.”