IFJ Supports Workers’ Rally For Sacked Colleague In Philippines

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins

its affiliate, the National

Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in expressing solidarity with workers taking

industrial action at Radio Mindanao Network-dxDC Davao

in the southern Philippines.

 

Workers at

the broadcaster have formed a union and staged a protest on September 9 in

support of station manager Maximo “Dodong” Solis, who was dismissed on

September 6.

 

Staff of

dxDC Davao are

unionising amid concerns about staff cuts, restructuring and editorial

independence.

 

Solis was fired

without pay after 12 years of service, during which time the station had

consistently topped ratings surveys in Davao City.

 

Under his

management, dxDC Davao took an uncompromising stance

in support of press freedom and played an active role in advocating for the

prosecution of the killers of media workers in the Philippines, which remains one the

world’s most dangerous countries for media professionals.

 

Solis

also led staff to reject attempts by senior management and the station’s owners

to influence programming at the station, to support a candidate in recent

presidential elections after a lucrative advertising deal was reportedly

negotiated with the candidate by account executives of Radio Mindanao Network

(RMN), the station’s owner. 

 

The Davao

chapter of the NUJP reports that

Solis had rejected cost-cutting measures proposed by RMN executives, which

would have seen regional staff fired or forced to take on account executive roles

in addition to their reporting.

 

“The IFJ

is heartened to learn that colleagues of Dodong Solis are taking his

unwarranted dismissal as an opportunity to stand together in unity and oppose

further attempts by management to pursue a particular partisan or inappropriate

cost-cutting agenda,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“Their

display of strength on such important matters of principle serves as an example

to media workers throughout the Philippines,

where we have seen that job security is just as threatened as journalists’

safety and freedom of expression.”

 

Separately,

an industrial dispute has also been taking place since June 16 at one of the Philippines’

largest broadcasters, ABS-CBN,

where 110 workers have been sacked amid changes to

contracts and work conditions.

 

Most

recently, veteran reporter Wheng Hidalgo

was fired on September 3 after 16 years with the station, when she refused to

accept revised conditions of employment offered by management.

 

Under the

changes, ABS-CBN staff who seek reclassification from temporary to permanent

employment are being denied back pay and other conditions offered to other

permanent employees.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter:

@ifjasiapacific