“If not for our collective action, management would not be forced to provide some of our demands.”
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – Employees of TV5 network clinched salary increases, more benefits and “political gains” in the recently signed labor accord with management.
Vladimir Martin, president of the ABC Employees Union (ABCEU) and Emmanuel Lorenzana, president and CEO of TV5, signed a memorandum of agreement for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), April 28 at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – National Capital Region office.
The agreement ended the seven-month long deadlock and prevented the impending strike.
In a phone interview with Bulatlat, Martin said the management was compelled to negotiate because of the “overwhelming results of the strike vote.” Early this month, 87 percent of union members voted in favor of staging a strike, as management was adamant in refusing to heed the union’s major demands.
‘Not best but better than the past CBA’
Martin admitted that the new CBA is not the best but nevertheless better than the 2013 CBA.
The agreement grants across-the-board salary hikes of P1,000/P1,500/P1,500 for each year through 2017. Initially, management wanted a wage moratorium for 2015 and a two-tier wage scheme for 2016 and 2017 amounting to P3,000, of which only half would be guaranteed.
The union able to assert a zero-interest educational loan assistance worth P5,000 for 2016 and 2017; an increase in rice subsidy from P1,300 to P1,500.
Besides the economic gains, Martin said the union scored political victories such as the space for a new union satellite office at TV5’s Reliance facility; union leave benefits; and, condonation of offenses.
“If not for our collective action, management would not be forced to provide some of our demands,” Martin said.
In the past few months, the union launched a series of peaceful protest actions in front of the TV5 Reliance building.
Fight far from over
Martin said the union would continue to assert the regularization of contractual employees. He said there are regular positions being filled up by contractual employees. Such practice, he said, is a violation of the existing CBA.
With regard to the union preservation in the event of a merger, consolidation and sale, Martin said, the union and management signed a side agreement stating that management would not do anything without DOLE intervention.
The union would also continue to push for the amendment of the Code of Conduct, which contains penalties that are “too harsh.”