KMU to POEA: Revoke license of abusive labor recruiter

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WORKERS led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno joined a picket in front of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration office in Mandaluyong City this morning to press the agency to revoke the license of a labor recruiter that supplies workers to oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico over abuses done to Filipino workers.

Filipino workers recruited by DNR Offshore Crewing Services and employed by Grand Isle Shipyard, an American company based in Louisiana, USA, suffered various forms of abuse while working in the Gulf of Mexico for oil firms:

– Forced to work 6 to 7 days a week, from 12 to 14 hours a day, without overtime pay.

– Charged with fees from $1,000 to $3,000 for a bunk bed in a 10 x 10 foot room.

– Workers’ movements in the bunk house were severely restricted.

– Forced to work under dangerous conditions: 3 died in an explosion.

– Threatened with immediate deportation should they complain or refuse to work.

– American workers were provided with better working conditions in the company.

DNR was established by D&R Resources, which is based in Louisiana and run by Filipino welders Danilo Dayao and Randolph Malagapo.

“DNR, D&R and Grand Isle Shipyard treated and continue to treat Filipinos like slaves. They should be subjected to investigations and punished for their crimes,” said Tess Dioquino, KMU vice-chairperson for international affairs.

“It is revolting that the Aquino government still has not revoked the license of DNR, which is the least it could do in this case. This government has been very aggressive in sending Filipino workers abroad but has refused to stand up for Filipinos who suffered abuse at the hands of employers,” she added.

“Filipino workers abroad continue to be treated like slaves because the Aquino government has failed to generate decent employment in the country. That Filipinos continue to suffer from slave-like conditions of work prove that the ‘development’ being bragged about by the Aquino government is merely an illusion,” she said.

Fifty Filipinos filed a class suit against GIS over violations of labor laws, trafficking, slavery, discrimination and fraud. GIS denied the allegations, as the federal judge sent out notices to Filipino workers who want to join the lawsuit.

“We will keep track of this case. We want employers and recruiters who connive to enslave Filipino workers to be punished,” Dioquino said.

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