MANILA - The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Wednesday expressed sorrow over the looming loss of jobs in ABS-CBN Corp. after the network was denied a fresh franchise by Congress last week.
ABS-CBN Corp. earlier announced it would cease operations of some of its businesses and lay off workers starting August 31, as retrenching workers was the "only way to ensure the continued employment" of the rest of its employees.
"The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is saddened by the announcement, albeit inevitable, by ABS-CBN that it will be retrenching part of its workforce following the unjust rejection of its franchise application by the House committee on legislative franchises," the NUJP said in a statement.
"We cannot begin to imagine the pain of those forced out of their jobs because congressional lapdogs did their vindictive master's bidding."
Voting 70 to 11, the House franchises committee last Friday opted to "kill" a new broadcast franchise for ABS-CBN Corp., months after President Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly threatened to pull the plug on the network over complaints of partisanship.
NUJP expressed solidarity with the Kapamilya network's workers and supporters.
"Sa aming mga kasama at kaibigan sa Kapamilya Network, ang aming mahigpit na pakikiisa. Kasama niyo kami sa patuloy na pakikibaka para makamtan ang katarungan sa inyong sinapit sabay ng ating pagsulong sa malayang pamamahayag at pagpapahayag," the union said.
"Nagkakamali sila sa akalang sila ang nanaig. Darating ang araw ng paniningil."
Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno meanwhile said that President Rodrigo Duterte and his "70 minions in Congress" should be blamed for the looming loss of jobs in ABS-CBN Corp.
“The decision to shut down ABS-CBN came straight from Malacanang, no doubt. Duterte has no plan whatsoever for the livelihood of these 11,000 affected families. Balewala kay Duterte kung walang paglagyan ang manggagawa," Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog said in a statement.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque however claimed that Duterte is "of course neutral" on ABS-CBN Corp.
Labog appealed to ABS-CBN to do everything it can to provide support and alternative livelihood for those who will be retrenched.
“We believe that a continuing dialogue between the workers and management even in the face of imminent massive job losses will keep the bond of the broad alliance to fight for the continued operation of ABS-CBN intact!”
ABS-CBN did not give a figure on how many would be laid off. However, it said that the company would be "paying out separation and retirement benefits and providing job placement programs."
news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.