GAWA endorses ABS-CBN franchise renewal

Posted by watchmen
February 21, 2020
Posted in HEADLINE

Local labor rights group, the General Alliance of Workers Association (GAWA), expressed support for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. In a message sent by GAWA Secretary-General Wennie Sancho, he said, unless the alleged violations of ABS-CBN result in irreparable damage and would be disadvantageous to the public, the issue of the network’s franchise nullification is “not warranted.”
The labor official pointed out, ABS-CBN has provided workers with vital information on labor issues such as the issuance of wage orders, advisories, and updates on labor relations, especially in Western Visayas. He said GAWA considers the network one of its “partners” in protecting the rights and welfare of workers.
In 2010, the ABS-CBN Internal Job Market workers’ union demonstrated against the network on claims of unlawful terminations, along with allegations of union busting.
According to a report by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, “Since 2002, different groups of ABS-CBN employees have filed cases before the labor courts for regularization.” They also cited the International Federation of Journalists, who expressed concern over the network’s labor practices.
Meanwhile, Sancho claimed a shutdown of ABS-CBN would displace the families of the network’s 11,000-strong workforce.
He also criticized Solicitor General Jose Calida, calling his actions “anti-labor and contrary to the avowed policy of the government.”
Sancho added, any attempts to deny the franchise of ABS-CBN would be unconstitutional.
“The state shall afford full protection to labor,” he said.
Earlier this month, Callida filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN before the Supreme Court based on three grounds: offering pay-per-view services without permit, using the franchise of a company it acquired without congressional approval, and ceding foreign control by issuing Philippine depositary receipts.
The government official’s complaint accused the network of launching their TV Plus subscription service and Kapamilya Box Office Channel without approval from the National Telecommunications Commission.
“A franchise is a special privilege granted by the state and should be restricted only to entities which faithfully adhere to our Constitution and laws,” he said in a statement.
The network’s franchise is set to expire on March 30./DGB, WDJ

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