For the second time in two years, unionized employees of the Radio Mindanao Network in Davao City have gone on strike against management’s alleged violations of their Collective Bargaining Agreement and attempts to bust their union.
The RMN Davao Employees Union-National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno launched their strike Thursday last week, temporarily suspending operations of the network’s AM and FM stations.
Union president Gina Hitgano, in a statement, said the decision to go on strike was unanimous and followed at least 15 “grueling” conciliation conferences during which she accused management of refusing to comply with CBA provisions on job security.
The RMN Davao union last went on strike in 2012.
The union has accused RMN management of hiring contractual workers instead of filling vacant positions with regular employees as stipulated in the CBA. They also claimed that management promoted a number of employees to supervisory positions in an alleged effort to force them to resign from the union, which the workers said is tantamount to union busting.
Aside from these, they accused RMN management of hiring two talents “for the sole purpose of incessantly attacking the union on air and maliciously linking it to the communist movement.”
The statement also said the manager and technical director to Tacloban and General Santos cities, respectively, allegedly because of their friendly relations with unionists.
On Tuesday, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines issued a statement declaring “full support and solidarity” with the striking RMN Davao employees and warning “the military and any other government agency from interfering in a labor issue.”
At the same time, the media organization pointed out that “the ordeal of our RMN Davao colleagues is not isolated as more and more media outfits, including the largest in the country, resort to contractual hiring and other unfair labor practices in their quest for ever larger profits.”
This, said the NUJP, has seen “journalists and other media staff being subjected to inhumane working conditions or even forced into situations where they may be tempted or forced into unethical practices in an already dangerous profession but, to the detriment of the people who the media profess to serve, a general deterioration in the quality of the information made available to them.”
It urged “on all Filipino journalists and workers to unite in demanding better working conditions and welfare protection, not only for ourselves and our families, but also towards improving our profession in the service of the people’s right to know.” INTERAKSYON