Anakbayan condemns ‘domestic violence’ by ABS-CBN top officials
Youth group Anakbayan today condemned the firing of 20 ABS-CBN employees, including a veteran news reporter, in the latest round of lay-offs by the media giant’s employees, calling it ‘domestic violence’ on the part of ABS-CBN management.
“If Gabby Lopez is the symbolic ‘father’ of the ABS-CBN employees, then he is an abusive one towards his ‘Kapamilyas’” said Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez.
Reporter Wheng Hidalgo, and 19 other employees of the broadcast media network’s Technical Operations Department, were fired last September 3. The firing of Hidalgo, who has been a reporter for 14 years, raises the number of victims of ABS-CBN management’s mass-layoffs since June 16 to 110.
The 110, some of whom have been working for the network for more than a decade, were fired for refusing a ‘lopsided’ deal in which they would become regular-status employees in exchange for, among others, salary cuts and the withdrawal of legal cases against their management. Under law, employees who have worked for the same employer for at least six months should automatically be given regular status.
The latest round came in the heels of a ruling by the Dept. of Labor and Employment which declared that the ‘Kapamilya’ employees are regular ones.
The youth leader called the firings ‘union-busting, plain and simple’.
She said “The ABS-CBN employees’ union stood strong and united against Gabby Lopez’s anti-worker deal, that’s why he resorted, and continue to resort to, mass lay-offs. Now that the union’s cause is gaining additional legal points, Lopez is becoming more and more desperate”.
Meanwhile, she laid ultimate responsibility on the issue at the footsteps of beleaguered President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino.
“Gabby Lopez is confident that as a crony of the new President, he will be allowed to carry out his anti-worker schemes with impunity” said Bañez.
The Lopezes are known supporters of Aquino’s presidential candidacy, and the network has been accused of supporting the candidacy through biased reporting. A reporter of the network has also been appointed as part of Noynoy’s cabinet.
“If he is truly favors the interests of the common Filipino over his cronies, Noynoy should publicly condemn the firings” challenged the youth leader.