Central Luzon

Malolos-Clark railway workers protest delayed wages

Joann Manabat

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Malolos-Clark railway workers protest delayed wages

PICKET PROTEST. Project-based workers of subcontractor Cadcor Builders and Trading Corp hold a protest at the railway construction site in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, on Wednesday, April 3.

Joann Manabat/Rappler

The Union of Building and Construction Workers said the concerns of the workers include delayed wages, unexplained payroll deductions, including non-remittance of basic benefits such as SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG contributions, and lack of rest days

PAMPANGA , Philippines – Twenty-two project-based workers of the Malolos-Clark railway project (MCRP) held a brief protest over their delayed salaries against subcontractor company Cadcor Builders and Trading Corporation at the railway’s construction site in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga on Wednesday, April 3.

Cadcor Builders has around 300 workers suffering from delayed wage payments. However, around 150 workers still work for the MCRP, according to National Union of Building and Construction Workers (NUBCW).

NUBCW said the labor concerns of the workers include at least a month’s delay of the wage, unexplained payroll deductions including non-remittance of basic benefits such as Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG contributions, and lack of rest days.

Cadcor Builders is the subcontractor for the MCRP under a joint venture agreement between Spanish and Korean general contractors Acciona and Daelim. Its workers are building the 58-kilometer section of the MCRP, part of of the 109-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) infrastructure project.

CONSTRUCTION ONGOING. The construction site of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Joann Manabat/Rappler

Acciona-Daelim is constructing the second section of the railway line connecting Malolos City in Bulacan and Clark International Airport in Pampanga. It is funded by the Asian Development Bank through a loan under the Department of Transportation. 

NUBCW secretary general Santi Nolla said the workers have been calling out Cadcor Builders management, as well as Acciona and Daelim, to immediately address the issue. He said the general contractors have fully paid its subcontractor. However, the labor rights issues remain neglected as alleged internal issues in Cadcor Builders affect the release salaries and benefits of the workers.

As per Acciona-Daelim joint venture ay kumpleto naman sila ng bayad sa subcon nila na Cadcor Builders at wala silang pagkukulang kahit sa social security contributions ng workers. Maraming beses na nilang tinawag ang attention ng Cadcor Builders to fulfill its duties to its workers remittance ng SSS contribution pero okay lang daw ng okay ang Cadcor management,” said Nolla. 

(As per Acciona-Daelim joint venture, they have fully paid their subcontractor, Cadcor Builders, and they don’t have any shortage even in the social security contributions of the workers. They have called their attention many times to fulfill its duties to its workers remittance of the SSS contributions but the Cadcor management kept saying okay.)

Service driver Eduardo Ocampo, 47, said there were no issues in their salaries in the early stages. However, the deductions have always been a problem as Cadcor has not been remitting their contributions as benefits.

Ocampo lives with his family of five in a rented apartment. He said the ongoing problem with their wages has affected his family’s income and daily living especially when their rendered service has not been paid. He started working for Cadcor Builders in November 2022.

Nung bago ang Cadcor, okay naman yung pasahod pero yung benefits matagal na talagang nagiging problema, yung sa SSS, lahat kami kinakaltasan. Ang problema, hindi naman nahuhulugan. Edi sana wag nalang silang magkaltas para kami nalang siguro yung maghulog, pwede yun,” Ocampo shared. 

(When Cadcor was new, the salary was okay. But the benefits have been a real problem for a long time, such as the SSS. We are being ripped off. The problem is they are not remitting. Why don’t they just leave it, let us remit it ourselves. That is possible.)

Rappler tried to reach Cadcor Builders but did not get a reply. We will update this story once we receive their response. — Rappler.com

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