DAVAO CITY – Members of the Radio Mindanao Network Davao Employees Union (RDEU) took to the streets once more this afternoon to air grievance against the network management for continued workplace repression.
The union cited the management’s tactics of preventing the upcoming certification election, and the possible sacking of another employee who is sympathetic to the union.
Union members held the rally outside the station in corner Bonifacio and Anda streets, where they displayed streamers made out of sacks that demanded the network management to respect their right to form and join trade unions and stop harassment of fellow workers.
They pelted tomatoes on a streamer that bear the words, “Repressive Media Network” to dramatize their sentiments.
“They used flimsy reasons, like making it appear that the members of our union are not of the rank and file. They also made it appear that their favored union, the one which did not have any Collective Bargaining Agreement for many years now, is still active when it fact it is now defunct,” Fabe said.
Fabe explained that the defunct union, called Mindanao Congress of Labor (MCL-Tupas) was used by the management to block their attempts at achieving a certification election.
The MCL-TUPAS has filed a motion with the DOLE XI to dismiss RDEU’s petition for a certification election on the basis that they have an existing CBA.
Contrary to such claims, the office of the Assistant Regional Director of the DOLE-National Capital Region DOLE-NCR issued a certification on October 15 that they did not have on file any CBA that MCL-Tupas claims to have.
The protest rally by RDEU members was staged one day ahead of the scheduled meeting called for by national network officials with RMN-DXDC’s FM station manager Rico Jumuad.
Jumuad, got an order from network officials to proceed to Manila for untold reasons.
Members of the RDEU are apprehensive that since Jumuad has been supportive of the union, the management might sack him, as they did with former AM station manager Mario Maximo Solis whose employment was unceremoniously terminated by one of the network owners last September.
“We are worried, especially since we have heard talks that Rico is going to be transferred to Laoag, Ilocos Norte,” Fabe said.
It will be recalled that after the RMN management sacked Solis, RMN-DXDC Davao senior anchorperson Alex Roldan, as well as the program director and news director, Jessie Casalda and Elgin Damasco were forced to resign due to pressures from the network management.
Security of tenure is among the many issues that members of the media are currently faced with.
Last November, two broadcasters of Bombo Radyo Davao filed cases or illegal dismissal with the National Labor Relations Commission Region XI office against their network management.
The two media workers, Dennis Lazo and Art Borneo were dismissed from work after more than 20 years of service with Bombo Radyo company.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines- Davao City Chapter condemns the current prevailing practice of media network owners against journalists.
“Poor and underpaid as they are and lacking security of tenure, media workers are forced to work under unfavorable conditions. This has been made worse by the fact that worst violators of the media’s political and economic rights remain unsanctioned,” the NUJP –Davao statement said.
“Forming a union is one of the last recourse that the members of the media have taken in order to protect their employment. They have resorted to form a union as an avenue by which they could bat for just wages and favorable work conditions, but it looks like, employers such as the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) are showing signs of depriving even this right to them,” the NUJP Davao added.
NUJP-Davao commends the RMN Davao Employees Union for the courage they have shown in defending media rights and calls on colleagues to support the struggle of RMN-Davao workers.
“By fighting for their rights, they have effectively sought for the improvement of the lot of media workers in the country,” the NUJP Davao statement said.
The NUJP Davao has called for the DOLE to order the holding of certification election for RMN Davao Employees in the spirit of free trade unionism as an instrument to strengthen democracy by way of ensuring social justice.
It has called on DOLE to sanction abusive employers and demands RMN network officials to respect the rights of media workers, emphasizing, that any attack on media workers’ rights is an attack on the freedom of the press.