Philippines: Court orders GMA network to reinstate 51 employees

The Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the reinstatement and backpay of wages for 51 former Global Media Arts (GMA) network employees. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) welcome the CA decision and urge GMA to respect the court order.

Pedestrians walk past the walls of the GMA TV network. Credit: Jay Directo/AFP

The CA on February 25, ordered GMA network, a commercial television and radio network in the Philippines, to reinstate 51 workers who were fired for protesting against the companies unfair labour practices in 2015. The Court found the employees to be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and the full payment of wages including any benefits or allowance accrued from the time when compensation was withheld until reinstatement.

The illegal termination case was filed in 2015 when GMA Network fired 51 employees for holding a protest calling for an end to contractual labour in the media industry in front of the GMA’s offices in Quezon City and for not reporting to work for several days. At the time, the workers were protesting their irregular employment status and the company policy requiring employees to issue receipts to receive their pay checks.

NUJP considers the decision by the court an important recognition of workers' rights to express themselves and protest against unjust treatment by employers. “We urge GMA to respect the decision and do right by their employees. We issue the same call to other media houses to treat their employees justly,” NUJP added.

The IFJ said: “The Court of Appeal’s decision re-affirms the rights of workers to protest and sets an important legal precedent to allow workers to exercise their right to economic security and fight back against the practice of keeping workers on precarious, short-term contracts. The IFJ demands GMA upholds the court’s decision and ensure workers’ rights are guaranteed.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on 
+61 2 9333 0918

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the IFJ Asia - Pacific IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram