MANILA, Philippines -- Talents, or contractual workers, of GMA7 won what they acknowledged was an initial victory when the National Labor Relations Commission declared them regular employees of the broadcast network.
The June 22 resolution by Labor Arbiter Julio Gayaman said the 107 plaintiffs, members of the Talents Association of GMA or TAG, “are entitled to security of tenure and all benefits and rights appurtenant thereto” and that a contracts that states that no employer-employee relationship exists between them and the network is not legally binding.
It also ordered the network to reinstate dismissed workers immediately even if it chooses to appeal the decision.
The resolution said “the employment status of a person is defined and prescribed by law and not by what the parties say it should be” and that TAG had proven its members “necessary and desirable” for the network.
While celebrating the victory, TAG acknowledged that the decision can be appealed and, depending on how future decisions turn out should the network decide to seek reconsideration, the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court, a process the group said could “last up to five years.”
“What does this mean? It means that there’s still a long way to go,” TAG said in a statement.
But TAG said it was “committed to see this fight through,” and would wage it not only for themselves but “our colleagues in the industry who remain enslaved to this rotten system, and all other contractual workers in the country.”
“We will continue to fight so we may win for you, too,” the group said.