The National Union of Journalists hails the Court of Appeals decision ordering the GMA network to reinstate, with no loss of seniority rights, and with full back wages and benefits, 51 regular employees who had been found illegally terminated.
We congratulate the reinstated workers and the Talents Association of GMA, to which they belong, for their resolve in fighting for their rights and welfare.
It is important to note that, in its decision, the CA’s 15th Division composed of Associate Justices Ronald Roberto Martin, Manuel Barrios and Walter Ong ruled that 15 of the petitioners who were sacked after joining the TAG protest outside GMA “are not guilty of gross and habitual neglect of duty under the Labor Code.”
The decision said that, aside from the days they joined the protest, “GMA never presented any other instance when said petitioners committed other unauthorized absences, which negates the very definition of habitually.”
This is an important recognition of the workers’ rights to express themselves and stage a protest against unjust treatment by employers, and should encourage others to stand up for their rights when these are threatened or curtailed.
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.