Around 100 talents of the network giant GMA-7 has been declared regular employees by the National Labor Relations Commission in a decision released on June 22; more than a year after the case was filed.
The victory was announced by the Buhay Media in their Facebook page on June 25. Buhay Media posted a picture of the decision captioned with “BREAKING NEWS: Talents Association of GMA (TAG) wins regularization case before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). In a decision signed today by Labor Arbiter Julio Gayaman, TAG members were declared by the NLRC Labor Arbiter as regular employees of GMA Network.”
As regular employees, the members of TAG are entitled to security of tenure and all the benefits and rights applicable to someone of their status.
The case was filed at the NLRC on May 2014 for GMA-7’s violations of the labor code. According to the talents, they do not have Social Security System benefits, night time premium, service incentive leave, health insurance and even overtime pay.
After they filed the case, talents were subjected to harassment from the management.
In a May 2015 interview with Bulatlat, TAG president Christian Cabaluna said that they did not receive a bonus when the Christmas season came. In the past, they were able to get a one-month or 1.5 month equivalent of their salary during Christmas time. Cabaluna also said that supervisors would at times call them names such as “palamunin ng GMA.”
Cabaluna, a producer for GMA 7’s Imbestigador was interviewed by the Rappler after the NLRC decision came out. He told Rappler’s Buena Bernal that, at first, he thought that their lawyer, Atty. Ricardo Lapesura Jr., was joking when he told him of the good news. He later shed tears of joy upon realizing that the NLRC ruled in their favor.
The TAG has issued a statement saying that the decision was a milestone and that they hope that it will set a precedent for the other labor issues in the media industry.