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Abstract

This study examined the association between labour intensification due to work intensification and work extensification and ill health in women in certain manufacturing work in the Philippines. Work intensification is defined as more workload for each worker, and work extensification as less deadtime or work rest and more overtime. The sample was 23 establishments and 630 respondents. Workplace environment monitoring showed exposure to hazards such as noise, chemicals, poor ventilation, and poor illumination. The most prevalent illnesses and health problems were headache and coughs and colds. Results of focus group discussions showed adverse work conditions, hazard exposures among women workers, fast pace of work, close supervision, prevalent occupational illnesses, and management style that do not comply with the national work standards. The results indicate that the health issues of women workers depend on many factors, such as management and supervisory style, job autonomy, nature of task, and hazard exposures. This study resulted in three major analytic observations on the engagement of women workers in the new global labour market, the role of information technologies (IT) in women’s work, and occupational illnesses caused by work intensification and work extensification.

Note on the Author

Jinky Leilanie Lu, National Institute of Health, University of the Philippines Manila

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