Aid, justice must be given to HTI fire victims; Factories’ OHS status should be checked

February 2, 2017

By PAMANTIK-KMU

The militant regional labor center PAMANTIK-KMU calls for aid and justice for the workers of House Technology Industries (HTI) still trapped in a fire since yesterday night.

The latest reports show that about 83 workers have been brought to various hospitals nearby. About 200 workers are still trapped inside the factory, according to an HTI factory employee. Meanwhile, the fire has been under control since of this posting.

HTI is located at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Rosario, Cavite.

We hope that the workers be given appropriate medical aid and hopefully acquire minimal damage from the fire.

Meanwhile, these incidents remain an imprint of capitalists’ neglect of occupational health and safety (OHS) standards which endanger the workers – an event that emerges like the incident in HTI.

We remember the Kentex factory fire last 2015, which rendered 72 dead as the owners were more concerned about workers taking away finished footwear than workers’ welfare.

With this, we call on local government units, OHS watchdog institutions and the Department of Labor and Employment to conduct investigations on the occupational health and safety standards of factories, whether they be in economic zones or not.

If such, we may see such tragedies again, or worse. We workers cannot allow that to happen again. ###