Radio workers “victorious” amidst signed agreement with management, strike ended

Nov. 14, 2014

DAVAO CITY – The striking workers and management of a radio station signed today a memorandum of agreement (MOA) which led to the conclusion of a 43-day labor strike.

The Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) Davao Employees Union (RDEU) and RMN Davao management signed the said agreement at 3:00 pm today before officials of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) XI.

The 17-member union has established three strike camps: one in the AM band transmitter in Shrine Hills, Matina, another in the FM transmitter in Madapo Hills, Barangay 8-A and the main camp is outside the RMN Davao studio in Anda Street, Davao City, said union Chairperson Gina Hitgano.

The RDEU formally conducted their strike last October 2, due to “unfair labor practice related to the non-implementation of job security provisions in their CBA (collective bargaining agreement).”

Among the things both parties agreed and signed are: “out of the six positions lobbied by the union for regularization, five positions were successfully attained, three for FM and two for AM.”

“In addition, CBA renegotiation will commence 10 days after the signing of the compromise agreement. The RMN management has also offered a much-improved counter-proposal on wage increase and an increase in meal allowance which will greatly benefit the workers.”

“Had we not waged this strike, these significant gains would not have been achieved,” said Hitgano.

Hitgano said that their “victory” more than anything is that “no one gave up, no one turned their back and we came-out with stronger unity than ever.”

Hitgano also said she salutes the families of the union members.

During a short program, Hitgano said she “salutes the resolute spirit of the 17 union members.”

“We thank the husbands, spouses, children, the 17 families who stood their ground and supporter their family members of the unionists, they gave us strength,” she said.

While the agreement was being signed, all union members and their supporters from the different strike camps slowly gathered in the main strike camp for a ceremonial lifting of the strike, to dismantle camp installations and to clean the strike area.

Among those who greeted the RDEU’s victory is international artist Monique Wilson who chanced to visit the workers’ camp.

Wilson, one of the global coordinator of the One Billion Rising (OBR) movement, said their movement also “has universal call for better working conditions for women” under their “Rage for Raise” campaign.

“Continue to be strong,” said Wilson.

Gabriela partylist Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said that “the union is the only weapon of workers” and that holding a strike is “difficult.”

“We were here in this same exact spot during your first strike also giving a message. A strike is not we wanted but if circumstances push us, we resort to it. We hope not to see you again here, but when we do, we hope you would be again victorious,” said Ilagan.

Hitgano thanked all other workers under the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU)-Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) who have supported their cause, members and colleagues in the media and other organizations.

Hitgano said said they hope for “industrial peace” under their Station Manager Leobardo Daugdaug and to go on with other aspects of the negotiations as contained in their MOA.

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