The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) found many violations of labour standards and occupational safety and health (OSH) laws at Fresenius Kidney Care Dialysis Centres in Metro Manila.
Complaints from the Congress of Independent Organizations (CIO PH) and the Fresenius Kidney Care Philippines Workers Solidarity Network about unsafe working conditions, lack of break time, unpaid wages and increased surveillance on employees prompted the inspections at eight facilities.
The inspection revealed violations of basic labour standards, such as absence of meal breaks, underpayment of wages, non-payment of social benefits including health insurance and mortgage funds, and under-counting vacation leave and sick leave credits.
Additionally, the inspection uncovered breaches at several centres of the Occupational Safety and Health Law, including the absence of OSH officers, failure to submit required reports on annual accident and illness exposure, failure to present the company’s OSH programme to labour inspectors and failure to conduct mandatory safety orientations.
“These serious violations of labour standards and of occupational safety and health laws expose Fresenius dialysis workers to unsafe conditions—especially considering the continuing threat of COVID-19,” Roland de la Cruz, Senior National Executive Vice President, Congress of Independent Organizations (CIO). “It is surprising that, despite union and government campaigns for improved working conditions for healthcare workers, Fresenius centres continue to be an unsafe working environment for Filipino workers. It is no surprise that employee turnover and resignation rates are so high.”
The Congress of Independent Unions, Fresenius Kidney Care Philippines Workers Solidarity Network, and UNI Global Union will continue to advocate for safe working conditions and respect for the rights of healthcare workers at Fresenius Kidney Care Dialysis Centres in the Philippines.
“The violations in the Philippines are yet another example of why Fresenius needs to work with unions globally to raise standards for workers and patients,” said Rajendra Acharya, Regional Secretary of UNI Asia & Pacific. “These dialysis workers are healthcare heroes who deserve better than unpaid wages and unsafe conditions.”