By DATELINE PHILIPPINES
MANILA — Broadcast giant ABS-CBN fired a 14-year veteran reporter and 19 other personnel in the latest round of dismissals at the so-called “Kapamilya” network.
The firing of reporter Wheng Hidalgo and other personnel, all from ABS-CBN’s Technical Operations Department, brought to 110 the number of workers from the network’s Internal Job Market (IJM) dismissed since June 16.
The latest firings came after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) overturned on August 13 a previous ruling and declared IJM personnel regular employees and granted their petition for certification elections.
Hidalgo was fired on Friday, September 3, after she refused to accept the network’s offer for regularization because it required her to, among others, withdraw a labor case she had filed against ABS-CBN and waive her length of service.
Hidalgo and other IJM personnel based in Manila and Cebu filed a case before the National Labor Relations Commission in 2002 questioning their employment status. In 2006, the Supreme Court declared the Cebu IJM workers regular employees of the network.
The mass firings began the day Gabby Lopez, ABS-CBN chairman and CEO, set as the deadline for the IJM workers to accept the network’s offer of regularization which IJM Union president Antonio Perez assailed as conditional and discriminatory.
Hidalgo was with the delegation of ABS-CBN workers, NUJP, Partido Manggagawa, PhilIppine Airlines, PLDT and other unions who engaged Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a dialog last August 12 on the issue of contractualization.
The following day, August 13, ABS-CBN invited 37 IJM personnel from news and current affairs to five posh hotels around Metro Manila to tell them they were fired. This was the same day DOLE issued the decision that IJM personnel are regular “Kapamilya” employees. (Dateline Philippines / Posted by Bulatlat.com)