TAG wins round 3 as NLRC denies GMA motion

By Media Newser Philippines | Sunday, January 10, 2016

The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has denied GMA Network’s Motion for Reconsideration appealing the September 30, 2015 decision of Special Fourth Division Commissioner Numeranio Villena declaring 106 GMA talents as regular employees.

In a resolution released last January 5, Commissioner Villena and other concurring commissioners upheld the earlier decision of the NLRC, saying that GMA’s motion was denied for “lack of merit.”

“We find no compelling justification or valid reason to modify, alter, much less reverse, the decision sought to be reconsidered,” reads the resolution.

Members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) are therefore “regular employees of GMA Network Inc. and as such are entitled to security of tenure and all benefits and rights appurtenant to their status.”

Full press release after the jump...

PRESS RELEASE FROM TAG:
The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has denied GMA Network’s Motion for Reconsideration appealing the September 30, 2015 decision of Special Fourth Division Commissioner Numeranio Villena declaring 106 GMA talents as regular employees.

In a resolution released last January 5, Commissioner Villena and other concurring commissioners upheld the earlier decision of the NLRC, saying that GMA’s motion was denied for “lack of merit.”

“We find no compelling justification or valid reason to modify, alter, much less reverse, the decision sought to be reconsidered,” reads the resolution.

Members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) are therefore “regular employees of GMA Network Inc. and as such are entitled to security of tenure and all benefits and rights appurtenant to their status.”

The NLRC is expected to issue an entry of judgment within 15-30 days, saying that the decision is final and executory and ordering GMA Network to implement its ruling.

GMA Network can seek relief from the Court of Appeals, after which they may take it to the Supreme Court.

“GMA made it clear from the beginning that they will take this battle to the end,” says TAG President Christian Cabaluna. “We’ll also do the same, we will persist to show everyone we are doing the right thing, that there is a chance to have fair labor treatment in this industry we love, to show everyone who said we’ll lose that they’re wrong.”

Cabaluna was terminated from the Network last July along with 10 other senior staff for grounds that remain unclear. They have since filed separate illegal dismissal cases against the Network.

“This resolution plays an important role in our illegal dismissal case. As regular employees, we have rights to due process and we shouldn’t have been terminated as easily as we have,” Cabaluna said.

As elated as we are by this new development, we are fully aware that there is a long way to go.

We are encouraged not only by our own convictions, but by the legal precedents that no other than the Supreme Court has set.

In April 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that network talents are regular employees, while also making clear that the Jay Sonza case, largely used by GMA Network to defend its position, could not be applied to talents such as us.

We trust that the judicial institutions will be consistent in its decisions. We are also hopeful that this will prompt urgent actions from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); for them to see that the injustice inside the media industry has gone on for far too long.

This also comes at a crucial time as we near elections. We believe that the labor conditions in the Philippines should no longer take a backseat in the electoral discussion; it is a pressing issue that needs attention now.

Lastly, we appeal to our colleagues in the media, and the public that we serve: keep a close watch, and act if you must.

Contractualization has silently killed the dreams of talented and passionate Filipinos, it has driven migration and made bad men out of good men.

This is a battle that we should all fight. Bad things happen when good people do nothing. Stand up for your rights. There is strength in numbers, and we have proven time and time again that there is nothing that we cannot do if we do it together.

Ito ang aming serbisyong totoo. Tuloy po ang laban.

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