July 1, 2010
The militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) today called on the media network ABS-CBN to respect labor rights and regularize its workers without conditions. “The leaders of the ABS-CBN Internal Job Market Workers Union who have been terminated for refusing to sign waivers must be accepted back to work. We support the workers’ demand that ABS-CBN management regularize its contractual workforce without discrimination and without conditions. ABS-CBN should treat its workers as kapamilyas instead of strangers,” stated Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.
The support from PM came two days after the National Union of Journalist in the Philippines (NUJP) expressed alarm over the mass termination at ABS-CBN. The ABS-CBN Internal Job Market Workers Union (IJMWU) has been waging a fight to regularize more than 1,000 contractual employees and win recognition as a bargaining agent.
PM also appealed to newly installed President Noynoy Aquino to review and reform the policy on labor contractualization. “The labor disputes at giant companies like Philippine Airlines (PAL) and ABS-CBN are rooted in the epidemic of contractualization. For democracy to work for all and not just a few—as P-Noy as promised—then the right to job security must be guaranteed and the loopholes of the Labor Code must be closed by this government,” Miranda argued.
The group announced its willingness to help the fight of the ABS-CBN IWJWU and cooperate with the NUJP on defending workers rights in the media industry. PM is supporting the struggle of PAL union against management’s attempt to lay-off some 3,000 employees by illegally contracting out work.
Miranda added that “Evidently ABS-CBN is disguising its employee-employer relationships with workers by categorizing them in the internal job market or calling them contractual talents. The aim is obviously to circumvent labor standards and deny ABS-CBN workers security of tenure and benefits due regular workers.”
PM revealed that one of their demands for the coming State of the Nation Address is for President Aquino to certify as urgent a bill to strengthen security of tenure and limit the discretion of employers to abuse labor contractualization. “Militant labor will lobby Congress once opens in July for a bill to protect workers’ security of tenure,” Miranda explained.