MANILA, Philippines – Inspections on other fast food chains and malls are next on the labor department’s radar, after issuing an order to Philippine fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corporation to regularize more than 6,000 of its workers.
Currently, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has scheduled visits to McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants.
DOLE Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod told Rappler on Thursday, April 5, that labor inspections would be intensified, reminding businesses that laborers have rights under the Constitution.
“Inspections will be ongoing, so we see the status of our workers, especially in the implementation of the general labor standards, which include whether [companies’] employees are regular,” he said in an interview over the phone.
The undersecretary told Rappler they are prioritizing fast food chains and malls for inspections. DOLE’s figures show that there are 936,554 such businesses across the country.
They will also be looking at companies situated in economic zones, Business Process Outsourcing companies, and banks.
Maglunsod said they will also look into the companies’ compliance with occupational safety and health standards, citing the fires that destroyed the House Technology Industries (HTI) at the Cavite Export Processing Zone and the NCCC mall in Davao City, where workers died.
Maglunsod also called on businesses to respect the constitutional rights of workers by following labor standards and by providing security of tenure.
“Ang appeal natin sa businesses – whether industrial, agricultural, or kung ano pa ‘yan – is to provide the minimum general labor standards and security of tenure. Irespeto nila ang constitutional rights ng mga manggagawa na nasa Article XIII, Section 3, of the 1987 Constitution,” he told Rappler.
(Our appeal to businesses – whether they are industrial, agricultural, or whatever – is to provide the minimum general labor standards and security of tenure. They have to respect the constitutional rights of the workers under the Article XIII, Section 3, of the 1987 Constitution.)
“Ang pilosopiya naman natin dito ay agrabyado ang mga manggagawa dahil violated ang rights nila na nasa 1987 Constitution. Bahagi ito ng human rights na nasa Universal Declaration of Human Rights, lokal man o foreign,” he added.
(Our philosophy here is that workers are aggrieved because their rights, under the 1987 Constitution, are violated. It’s part of human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whether locally or foreign.)
In March 2017, the DOLE issued Department Order (DO) 174, setting stricter guidelines for contractualization.
Under the 1987 Constitution, workers “shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage.” – Rappler.com