Philippines factory fire

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder expresses great sadness over Philippines shoe factory deaths, calls for stronger health and safety measures

Statement | 14 May 2015
Burnt out entrance of a footwear factory in suburban Manila on May 14, 2015, a day after it was gutted by fire. © AFP / Ted Aljibe
I was greatly saddened by the news of the deaths of dozens of workers in the shoe factory fire in Manila. On behalf of the International Labour Organization (ILO), I extend my condolences to the bereaved families and share in their sorrow.

Once again, we find ourselves mourning workers whose lives have been cut short as a result of workplace accidents. Often such accidents are preventable.

Everyone has the right to work in a safe and healthy environment, regardless of the industry they are in or the type of work that they do.

We can make workplaces safe by improving working conditions in factories, including carrying out regular inspections to ensure that factories comply with structural, fire and electrical safety; and by ensuring workers’ rights, especially freedom of association and collective bargaining.

As always, the ILO stands ready to assist, working with employers, workers and their organizations and all stakeholders to improve safety and health conditions in the workplace.