NLRC sides with GMA-7 talents, upholds employee regularization
The year 2016 brings a glimmer of hope for former and current employees of media giant GMA-7 after the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has junked the GMA-7’s Motion for Reconsideration, siding with the employees for the third time.
In a decision promulgated last January 5, the NLRC Special Fourth Division upheld its September 30, 2015 ruling which states that the 106 GMA-7 talents are regular employees.
“We have, once more, reviewed our 30 September 2015 Decision in the light of discussion, grounds, and arguments raised by Respondents-Appellants in their Motion for Reconsideration, but we find no compelling justification or valid reason to modify, alter, much less reverse the Decision sought to be reconsidered.”
“Wherefore, the instant Motion for Reconsideration should be, as it is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision dated September 30 2015 remains undisturbed,” the ruling in the four-page resolution read.
The resolution was signed by NLRC Commissioners Numeriano D. Villena, Pablo C. Espiritu Jr, and Presiding Commissioner Gregorio O. Bilog III.
With the junking of the GMA-7’s Motion for Reconsideration, the 106 talents, who are members of Talents Association of GMA (TAG), are “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, when its decision will become final and executory and will force GMA-7 to implement its ruling.
While the decision of the NLRC is still appealable to the Court of Appeals and later on, to the Supreme Court, the talent group deemed the decision as a victory for “those who fight for justice and their rights.”
TAG President Christian Cabaluna said that they are prepared to fight for their case all the way up to the Supreme Court.
“GMA made it clear from the beginning that they will take this battle to the end. 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 said in a statement.
Cabaluna, along with 10 other employees, were terminated in July 2015 under “unclear” grounds. They have since filed separate illegal dismissal cases against the media giant.
“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,” he said.
TAG also called on the public to remain vigilant on violations against labor rights.
“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,” the group said.
GMA-7 is yet to issue a statement.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.