The Kapamilya network’s management has just proven that they are the opposite of their public branding – it illegally dismissed workers in its own backyard, and refuses to grant genuine regularization to those remaining.
This was the statement of ABS-CBN IJM workers’ union, representing 1,400 workforce of ABS-CBN in the National Capital Region (NCR), amid recent moves of the management that discriminately terminated, delayed, or rearranged work schedules for dozens of ABS-CBN IJM workers since midnight of June 17.
It was imposed to workers who refused to accept the discriminatory and conditional “regularization” forced by the management. The management only offered such regular status to selected workers, and it entails waiver of all complaints of the worker against the management, no back-pay or recognition of the delayed regular status supposed to be granted for those who served for long years already, among other conditions.
Antonio Perez, ABS-CBN IJM workers’ union president, explained that “such bogus regularization has been forced by the management to deplete the membership of our union and eventually banish it.”
The union was formed in March 2009 and has since then struggled against various dirty tactics of the management to bust it. When the union filed for a petition for certification election in November 2009, the management claimed that the IJM is an entity not under ABS-CBN, so there is no employer-employee relationship between them and the IJM workers, thus no basis for them to recognize the union.
Kapamilya management also forced IJM workers to change employment status to take them out of the union membership.
“They have also offered – or forced – the bogus regular status to justify their claim that IJM workers are still not workers under ABS-CBN, and thus have no right to form a union and collectively bargain with ABS manangement,” Perez said.
“Because we have long resisted the bogus regularization offer, some of us were one-by-one threatened that we will lose our jobs if we do not bite the bait. Then it came to a point that Gabby Lopez, Kapamilya President, called for a special online open-chat with the workers on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 15.
“During the chat, he categorically said that if those workers offered with regularization will not accept it until 12 midnight of Wednesday, then they will be terminated,” Perez narrated.
And true enough, some workers received advisories or memos that their supposed schedule for Thursday was vacated or will be taken over by other employees.
“We condemn this unjust practice tantamount to illegal termination or constructive dismissal,” Perez declared. “Is this the Kapamilya management’s way of treating supposedly family members in their own backyard? At first, they disowned us as employees, to escape employer-employee relationship and avoid basis for our union recognition. Now they completely kicked us out of their lot.”
The ABS-CBN IJM workers union stands that if the Kapamilya network really wants to regularize workers, then it should do so without any conditions and apply it to all the workers.
“We want genuine regularization – granted to all those who deserve it. The law mandates we should enjoy it after 6 moths of service, some us have been Kapamilyas for many years now and have raised our own pamilyas already while serving ABS-CBN. We want no waiver of whatsoever rights or grievances accompanied with the regularization. We want long-term job security,” Perez said.
The ABS-CBN IJM workers comprise mainly of employees in the technical operations division of the network, doing camera work, lights, sounds, vtr, and others for almost all entertainment and news programs.
Antonio Perez, ABS-CBN IJM Workers’ Union president
Mobile numbers: 0927-837-6180 / 0919-971-1354