DAVAO CITY — Despite a ruling from a labor arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission that would compel the GMA broadcast company to regularize more than 100 plaintiffs, workers and their supporters said the struggle is “far from over”.
In a press conference at the House of Representatives, leaders of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) felt that the management is dragging its feet in carrying out the order because a contract signing has not yet been offered to employees.
“Even with the resolution, we can still feel the network’s harassment. Yesterday, staff from the Reporter’s Notebook were fired because their contracts ended. Instead of re-hiring the fired TAG members, they fired more,” TAG leader Christian Cabaluna said.
The case stemmed from a dispute after management began in 2014 to require “talents” to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as independent contractors and issue official receipts each time they receive their salary. This resulted into the formation of TAG and the filing of the case.
Rep. Emmi De Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party, commended the NLRC labor arbiter for “recognizing the inherent rights of the TAG plaintiffs and hoped that an industry-wide move to regularize workers will be the norm.”
De Jesus said media workers should continue their collective action “to ensure that laws to protect workers will be enacted.”
She also said the public should campaign for House Bill 4396 or the Regular Employment Bill “to end all forms of contractual labor.” (davaotoday.com)