Iloilo paper owner sued over retrenchment
A newspaper owner and defeated mayoral candidate of Iloilo City is facing an illegal termination complaint filed by seven dismissed newspaper employees.
Seven employees of the Iloilo-based newspaper The News Today have accused businessman Rommel Ynion of illegal termination and are demanding, among others, separation pay, back wages and damages.
In a complaint filed in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) office in Iloilo City, the seven former employees asked the NLRC to declare their dismissal as illegal.
Ynion, who ran with the populist slogan “I Love the Poor,” lost to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in last May’s elections.
Aside from Ynion, also named respondents were publisher Junep Ocampo and officers of Maxposure Inc., which owns the newspaper: Jose Gerardo Villacarlos, Hernan Ynion, Michael Robert Ynion and Carlo Gene Ynion.
The complainants include news editor Maricyn de los Santos, senior reporters Montesa Caoyonan and Jennifer Rendon, photographer Ricky Alejo, marketing supervisor Ramon Salvilla, graphic designer and layout artist Ely Pineda, and delivery boy Roy Amoto.
They alleged in a position paper dated Aug. 12 that they were terminated in “bad faith.”
The complainants said they were told in a meeting in March that they would be retrenched and asked to sign a prepared voluntary resignation letter.
When they refused to sign, they received a letter on March 5 informing them that their employment would end on April 6.
They said the newspaper company gave them half of their monthly salary in May contrary to the assurance that they would be given a separation package.
Leo Solinap, an executive of the newspaper handling operations, denied that the employees were illegally terminated.
“We consulted our lawyer and we followed the required process,” he said. Solinap said the retrenchment was prompted by losses.
He said the newspaper was forced to reduce its publication frequency. From being a daily paper, The News Today now only comes out thrice weekly. /Inquirer.net
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