[News] GMA terminates 11 TAG members

The Talents Association of GMA (TAG) condemns the termination of 11 of its members and continues to deplore these varying forms of harassment from the Network.

Last June 30, the contracts of several of our members expired. Programs such as ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’ and ‘Brigada’ renewed the contracts of their staff who are TAG members, consistent with the Network’s previous action of re-hiring the TAG members it initially let go last December 30.

Such was not the case for 6 TAG members who are staff of the program ‘Reporter’s Notebook’. In addition to not renewing their contracts, the Network terminated them for breach of contract because of the group’s protest. This alleged breach was also the reason for the succeeding termination of 5 TAG members from the program ‘Imbestigador’, despite ongoing contracts.

The protest stemmed from the group’s refusal to issue Acknowledgment Receipts (AR), believing that salaries should be released without condition, and a discriminatory condition at that. The AR policy is still being implemented and our members are still required to issue them in exchange of their checks.

We believe that they were singled out from the rest of our members who exercised their right to form a group and petition the company.

We demand the Network to explain the difference in the decisions it imposed upon members of TAG, when all our actions have been the same.

Our 11 colleagues not only lost their jobs, but their termination also tarnishes what are otherwise good employment records.

This termination comes only a week after the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) arbiter’s decision declaring we are regular employees. (READ: [News] GMA talents declared as regular employees by labor arbiter)

We demand transparency from the Network; for them to extend courtesy to its workers by clarifying their policies and decisions, and making them official through written memorandums.

The 11 TAG members terminated are:

  1. Christian Cabaluna – Imbestigador (9 years) (TAG President)
  2. Mike Manalaysay – Imbestigador (12 years and 6 months)
  3. Lora Queñano – Imbestigador (8 years and 6 months)
  4. Phillip Sinco – Imbestigador (6 years)
  5. Mariet Cabral – Imbestigador (10 years)
  6. Shera Catalan Teves – Reporter’s Notebook (5 years)
  7. Elaine Mariel Magboo – Reporter’s Notebook (4 years)
  8. Aldrin Carangalan – Reporter’s Notebook (5 years)
  9. Dawn Po Quimque – Reporter’s Notebook (2 years and 1 month)
  10. Veronica Guingon – Reporter’s Notebook (5 years)
  11. Michael del Rosario – Reporter’s Notebook (10 years)

They will leave GMA Network without separation pay and other benefits despite their years of service and loyalty to the Network.

In the same respect, the article that appeared on the blog ‘Fashion Pulis’, detailing alleged insider information on events that concern TAG, reinforces this very issue on transparency. (READ: FashionPulis.com | Letter from a Reader: GMA Employee Reveals GMA Practices in Relation to their Loss in the TAG Case)

While we cannot verify the details stated in the article and do not condone anonymous blogs and articles, the blog, at best, reiterates the need for transparency from the Network.

The issue involves the possible layoff of an unknown number of workers, whether they are regular or talents, and workers are left in the dark, and in fear, of their future at GMA Network.

We appeal to the humane side of our officials to at least be transparent and honest to its workers, and give them enough time to find employment elsewhere should it decide to include them in the retrenchment. We demand that these reasons for the layoff be publicly disclosed.

We will say this once again: we formed TAG with everybody’s interest in mind. We formed TAG with the dream of making all TV Network Talents regular employees, whether they’re from GMA or not. The legal papers may contain only our names, but this is a battle we’re fighting for everybody. The termination of 11 of our members will in no way stop us from seeing this battle through.

We call on our colleagues in GMA, the entire media industry and the public to stand firm against this blatant disregard for labor laws and workers’ rights.

#TAG11 #NOtoHARASSMENT #LabanMedia #BuhayMedia

Follow us on Twitter/Instagram (@buhaymedia) and like our Facebook page (facebook.com/buhaymedia) to show your support.

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