BACOLOD

NegOcc labor group supports ABS-CBN franchise renewal



NEGROS Occidental-based labor group General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa) fully supports the franchise renewal of television network ABS-CBN, its top official said.

Its secretary general Wennie Sancho, in a statement, said the labor sector believes that unless the “alleged violation of ABS-CBN would result to irreparable damage and would be grossly disadvantageous to the people,” the issue of franchise nullification is not warranted.

Sancho said the network has provided the workers with vital information on labor issues such as issuance of wage orders, advisories and updates on labor relations in Western Visayas.

“Gawa considers ABS-CBN as one of its partners in its advocacy to protect the rights and welfare of the workers,” he said, adding that the plight of the 11,000 workers who stand to lose their jobs in the event that the network will be shut down and the economic dislocation of their families should be seriously taken into consideration by the state.

The group cited the 1987 Constitution mandating that “the state shall afford full protection to labor and it shall promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.”

Sancho, however, said it is unfortunate that the state through the Office of the Solicitor general (OSG) is now seeking to nullify the franchise of ABS-CBN that would result in massive unemployment.

“Where now the workers would go to seek protection for the redress of their grievances?” he asked, adding that in all likelihood the attempt to shutdown ABS-CBN is anti-labor.

It is contrary to the avowed policy of the government that “the state shall afford full protection to labor” and is therefore unconstitutional.

The Congress has yet to act on pending bills seeking a renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise set to expire on March 30 this year.

The network secured a 25-year franchise under Republic Act 7966, which was enacted on March 30, 1995.


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