NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
DAVAO CITY CHAPTER
October 6, 2014
“There can never be real press freedom when media workers live in poverty and exploitation.” – NUJP
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines – Davao City Chapter stands with the RMN Davao Employees Union (RDEU) in their ongoing labor strike amidst the attack on their job security and press freedom.
The RDEU launched and won their first strike last 2012, the details of which are contained in their five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA); the CBA is supposedly renegotiable this year.
However, the management has since failed to implement job security provisions agreed in the CBA.
Until now, RMN Davao has three vacant positions for regular items in their FM department and four vacant positions in AM department since some of the workers have resigned.
RMN management, however, hired “talents” instead of probationary employees, despite the complaint made by the RDEU in the grievance committee hearing.
Recently, the RMN Management agreed to replace the regular vacant positions and asked the union members to submit names of applicants. However, the management failed to act on the request of the employees.
We stand by the RDEU members that the company should respect the provisions set by their CBA two years ago. The Department of Labor and Employment and the National Conciliation and Mediation Board should see to it that the management recognize and respect its agreement with the union.
After several hearings done between RMN management and RDEU together with NCMB officials, it is clear that the management’s refusal for renegotiation has wantonly violated the agreements in the CBA. There should be an immediate action on the side of the government agencies – the DOLE and the NCMB, to penalize the management.
RDEU workers also complain of lesser assignments and censorship in their outputs, acts of management that compromise journalistic and ethical standards.
Identified union members who were previously given seven assignments per day are wantonly censored for content considered by the management as “left-leaning” such as valid issues of workers, peasants and human rights and news sources are limited that the output become clearly biased.
Identified union announcers are not anymore allowed to broadcast their news but are instead canned, trimmed and skipped to favor a particular group such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
NUJP cannot help but conclude that the suppression of press freedom by the RMN management is aimed to paint a picture that RDEU workers are slack in their jobs, complacent and can be removed from their jobs anytime.
NUJP Davao also lambasts the management’s attack on RDEU members by hiring two talents who attack the union on air and maliciously link them to the communist movement.
This makes RDEU members as legitimate targets of government forces and is done in order to demoralize the union in their fight for economic rights and welfare.
The workers of RDEU are fighting for their livelihood, more so, for the survival of the family. Their strike is just.
Together with the rest of the labor force in the country, the fight of the media workers for job security should continue.
(Sgd.) Jessie Casalda
NUJP Davao City Chapter