[Video] Axed: The story behind TV5’s mass illegal dismissals

Video reposted from the Facebook page of PinoyMedia Center’s Film Weekly.


On February 24, 98 regular employees of TV5 were axed by the network. Four of them were officials of the Associated Broadcasting Company Employees Union (ABCEU), aka TV5 Employees Union. They were fired on three grounds: financial difficulty, redundancy in personnel and qualifications.

Related article: [News] TV5 lays off around 100 employees

PinoyMedia Center produced a short documentary about what transpired during that day, and gave further analysis of the incident:

 

Nimrod Imus, audioman and the treasurer of ABCEU, recalled the unusual circumstances that led to last Friday’s layoffs. He noticed that on Thursday (February 23), their supervisors did not immediately update them on their schedule for the following day, which was the usual routine in their operations. Later that Thursday, they were given a 9am-5pm schedule and meeting with HR.

“Mga alas tres ng hapon, nagsimula na pong magpatawag ang pamunuan, ang management ng TV5, at dalawa-dalawang empleyado ang pinapapunta nila sa kanilang opisina. Tapos pagbalik nila, wala na po silang mga ID, at meron na po silang escort na taga-HR saka security guard. At hindi na po sila pwedeng magtagal ng premises dahil tanggal na daw po sila kaagad ora mismo at kinakailangan na nilang lumabas ng TV5 premises.” (The TV5 management started calling us around 3pm. Two employees were called to the HR office at a time. When they come back, they no longer have their IDs, and they were already escorted by the HR and security. They were not allowed to stay within the premises because they were already fired that instant.)

Another audioman, Medel Gotel, who is also a board member of ABCEU, dismissed the claims of TV5 that the company was losing money. He said that TV5 is under Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), which also owns Smart, PLDT, Manila Water, North Luzon Expressway, among others. Those companies, according to him, can help augment the losses of TV5.

ABCEU President Vladimir Martin added that MPIC Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan even used the retirement fund of PLDT to purchase TV5, which means he has the power to use the resources from other MPIC subsidiaries to sustain the operations of TV5.

Gotel also refuted TV’s claim that there is a redundancy in personnel, revealing the illegal labor scheme of hiring contractual workers with the same job description to make it appear that there is such a redundancy in the workforce.

“Ang katotohanan po, hindi ibinibigay ng management sa empleyado ang nararapat o karampatang trabaho ng isang empleyado. Sa halip, kumukuha ang management ng outsourced [workers] na kapareho rin ng ginagawa ng kanilang empleyado para lumabas kami na isang excess o sobrang tao.” (The truth is, the TV5 management is not giving what is due their employees. Instead, they are hiring outsourced workers who have the same jobs as ours so they can claim our positions as redundant.)

He also debunked the claims of the network that there were issues with the qualifications of the personnel, which was one of the cited reasons for their dismissal.

“Meron tayong six months probationary, na pag which hindi mo siya naachieve, hindi ka pupwedeng maregular. Pero ito po’y ilang taon na naming ginagawa, so lumalabas naachieve namin ito, at nagkaroon pa kami ng developmental na lumalabas ay napromote kami. So paano mo masasabi na hindi kami qualified kung kami’y napromote?” (We have six months probation period, and if you do not pass that, you won’t be regularized. And since we’ve been doing this for years as regulars, it proves that we have already passed the probation. Add to that the ‘developmental’ which means we were promoted. So how can they say that we are not qualified if we were promoted?)

Imus concluded that the above-mentioned reasons prove that TV5 is making false claims to legitimize their illegal dismissals.

“Ang nakikita namin dito ay talagang union-busting.” (We really see this as a clear form of union-busting.)

In response to TV5’s actions, ABCEU filed an NOS (Notice of Strike) with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). As of the video’s posting, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) of DOLE is holding hearings with regard to the complaint of ABCEU.

This is not an isolated case in the labor industry. ABCEU President Vladimir Martin said this is just the beginning of a widespread contractualization in the country.

“Sa mga manggagawa, hindi lang sa TV5, pati sa iba’t ibang network, at sa lahat ng mga unionized workers sa Pilipinas, asahan natin na titindi pa ang atake sa mga regular na empleyado lalo na sa mga may unyon. Ito ‘yung nakikita nating magiging result talaga pag pinatupad ‘yung Department Order 168. Mapapalitan ng mga unionized workers ng mga regular kuno na mga worker na galing sa mga agency.” (To all workers, not only in TV5 and other media networks, but to all unionized workers in the Philippines, be prepared for more attacks to regular employees, especially those with labor unions. This is what we foresee as a result of the enforcement of DOLE’s Department Order 168, where unionized regular employees will be replaced by agency-hired workers.)

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View the original post here: https://www.facebook.com/filmweekly.pmc/videos/1681488055481863/

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