The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) is alarmed over reports that television network ABS-CBN has terminated at least 25 employees who have refused to accept the terms of the network’s regularization scheme.
More than 15 news and current affairs crew members were given 24 hours to sign a waiver otherwise they will also be terminated. The crew members are Internal Job Market (IJM) personnel who were offered and signed the regularization scheme that the ABS-CBN IJM Union and non-union members question as discriminatory and conditional. They filed and won a labor case against the ABS-CBN management and is now under appeal.
ABS-CBN IJM Workers’ Union President Antonio Perez said employees who refused the regularization scheme were not given work schedules and denied access to the company’s premises.
Perez said they consider the scheme as “bogus” regularization because the regular employment status was offered in exchange for withdrawing labor complaints against the management and also exclude back-pay of employees who have been working for years in the company.
He said they consider the scheme as an effort to deplete the ranks of the more than 600-member IJM Workers Union and is effectively union-busting.
Those terminated or face threats of termination include employees who have been working in the company for 10 to 22 years.
We call on the ABS-CBN management to respect the rights of employees to job security, organize, seek redress of grievances, and fair working conditions. The labor issues should be resolved amicably through dialogue and not through intimidation and termination of employees.
We welcome any move to regularize employees who have worked continuously in the company for at least six months, as mandated by law. But the regularization should be unconditional and all benefits due to the employees should be given.
The employees especially the rank and file are the most important assets of any company. Thus, we view with utmost concern any moves to deny job security and fair working conditions to employees who have shown dedication, loyalty and commitment to their company.
Journalists in the country are being murdered and attacked continuously by the enemies of press freedom. The last thing that we need are attacks from our own employers.
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
4/L FSS Bldg. # 89 Sct. Castor corner
Sct. Tuason Street (near T. Morato Ave),
Bgry. Laging Handa,
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (+632) 3767330
Web: www.nujp.org (under construction)