We especially salute and express solidarity with all media workers who remain dedicated to and passionate about their work despite lack of job security, meager wages, absence of benefits and the inherent risks in the media profession.
For while the Philippines continues to be among the world’s most murderous place for journalists, Filipino media workers must also bear dismal working conditions and low pay.
The global thrusts of news organizations to go multi-platform have intensified the work demand from its employees.
Media workers are increasing being pushed to work on multi-media platforms requiring longer and heavier work hours without the corresponding increase in compensation.
Even as Filipino media workers are fighting back, organizing themselves to defend their rights, media employers continue to deny them of their rights.
Only a few news organizations have labor unions and not all have collective bargaining agreements with employers. Union-busting and harassment of organizers and union leaders and members have increased.
News organizations including the most profitable ones continue to circumvent labor laws on compulsory regularization of media workers through the correspondent and talent systems.
They deny the existence of employer-employee relationship despite having absolute control over the product or service of their correspondents/talents. They rob the dignity of journalism by paying correspondents/talents low rates based on what gets printed or broadcasted and not on the actual work.
The working and living conditions are worst in the provinces where media workers are required to solicit ads to earn commissions in lieu of wages and often forced to accept additional sidelines to augment their take home pay.
Even as we have stood together with media owners in the defense of press freedom, we demand from them security of tenure, humane wages and working conditions respect for our rights in the workplace.
But most importantly, we call on our fellow media workers to organize, strengthen our ranks and remain united in defending our rights and in our struggle for better working conditions and just wages.