MANILA, Philippines – A workers’ union at ABS-CBN network criticized management for alleged unjust dismissals and harassment of its members.
ABS-CBN IJM (Internal Job Market) workers’ union president Antonio Perez claimed that management had discriminately terminated, delayed, or rearranged work schedules of dozens of ABS-CBN IJM workers since midnight Wednesday.
“It was imposed to workers who refused to accept the discriminatory and conditional 'regularization' forced by the management. The management only offered such regular status to selected workers, and it entails waiver of all complaints of the worker against the management, no back-pay or recognition of the delayed regular status supposed to be granted for those who served for long years already, among other conditions,” the union said in a statement.
According to Perez, some members were threatened they would lose their jobs if they do not “bite the bait”. They even cited ABS-CBN network Chairman Gabby Lopez who, during a live chat with employees on Tuesday afternoon, allegedly said workers offered with regularization will be terminated if they do not accept it until midnight of Wednesday.
Perez said the "bogus" regularization was also a way for the management to reduce the membership of the union. He said the union, formed in March 2009, filed for a petition for certification election in November of the same year, but the management claimed that the IJM is an entity not under ABS-CBN.
The union added that management also forced IJM workers to change employment status to take them out of the union membership.
ABS-CBN: Regularization process legal
Bong Osorio, head of ABS-CBN’s corporate communications explained that IJM is a database “which provides the network a list of accredited technical or creative manpower who offer their services to the company”.
“ABS-CBN management has been involved every step of the way in the issue, and a decision to regularize some of them has been made. The regularization process was carried out in accordance with the law,” Osorio said.
Osorio said the move was implemented “to ensure that ABS-CBN is in step with the fast changing multi-media industry landscape.”
“We realize we cannot please everybody, but we believe that we are doing what is right for the best interest of the company, employees, and shareholders,” Osorio said.
On the issue that it blocked the union’s petition to be recognized, Osorio said “the call to have the ABS-CBN IJM workers' union recognized has been dismissed by the appropriate government quasi-judicial body”.