THE giant vessel manufacturing company in Subic, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines Incorporated (HHIC-Phil), on Thursday said it is not wary of labor unions.
“Labor union is good. It benefits the workers, but we prefer organizations within the company that are not affiliated with groups with political or militant leanings,” External Trade Team general manager Nack Young Kim told The Manila Times in answer to published reports that it allegedly prevented its workers from participating in a certification election conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).
Kim said he was a union leader himself in Hanjin’s mother company in South Korea.
“We have to be careful too since there had been big companies like Nike Philippines that got disrupted due to demands of the labor union. The shipyard industry has been affected by recession since 2010, and it’s only this time that we are on the upswing. Maybe in four to five years, by 2022, we would even support the formation of labor unions,” he explained.
Managing Director Pyung Jong Yu, meanwhile, said, “We told the workers to keep their position, where they are right now, because when we get out of the red, everyone will benefit. We asked them to prioritize needs over wants, and think of their families.”
Meanwhile, External Trade Team section chief Peter Paul Bonifacio, who had been with HHIC-Phil for more than 10 years, said of the 30,000 workers cited in the news report, only fewer than 1,000 actually voted in the certification election.
On Monday, HHIC-Phil marked a milestone when it held a delivery signing ceremony for a 300,000 DWT class Very Large Crude Oil Carrier (VLCC) manufactured at its Redondo Peninsula, Subic Freeport Zone facility.
Named M/V Gener8 Nestor, it was the third VLCC and 111th vessel built in the 300-hectare shipyard.
The occasion cemented HHIC-Phil’s position in the global shipbuilding arena as the builder of choice for this commercial vessel type.
The brand-new ship adds to the growing fleet of the shipping conglomerates Gener8 in the United States and Navig8 in Singapore.
It was the second VLCC to be delivered by HHIC-Phil Inc. after the turnover in December 2016 of the M/V Gener8 Hector, the first-ever Philippine-made VLCC.
HHIC-Phil is home to 28,000 Filipino workers and perhaps one of the few companies that provides free lunch for all its employees plus additional meals for those working overtime.
It initially pumped $1.7 billion in direct investments into the Philippine economy in 2006 with a total estimated export value of $7 billion as of October 2017.