Former GMA-7 employees file complaint against network

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol July 07,2015 - 10:36 AM

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At least 12 former employees of GMA-7 Cebu filed a complaint of illegal retrenchment against the network management.

BACKSTORY: GMA 7 retrenchment, shades of media convergence

Named respondents in the case lodged before the National Labor Relations Commission in Central Visayas (NLRC 7) were Felipe Gozon, chief executive officer of GMA Network Inc, Anne Marie Tan, station manager of GMA-7 Cebu and Suzanne Salva-Alueta, program manager of GMA-7 Cebu’s news and public affairs.

When sought for comment, Alueta said they will answer the issues raised by the complainants once they are asked by NLRC to do so.

“I have yet to receive a copy of the complaint but once I have it, I will appear before the appropriate forum when summoned,” she said. The labor arbiter to whom the case will be raffled will set conciliation and mediation meetings with the parties to resolve the issues.

The retrenched GMA-7 Cebu workers were assisted by the Visayan Human Development Agency. At least five lawyers vowed to help the complainants.

Lawyer Rosemarie Versoza, who served as co-anchor of GMA 7‘s 24 Oras Central Visayas for several years, was seen at the NLRC office when the complainants filed the case against the network.

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“We just want to know if the management had grounds to remove us. There are questions of laws which we want to raise, and after contemplating about this for months, we decided to pursue a case against GMA-7,” said veteran broadcast-journalist Jun Veliganio who served as senior reporter of GMA 7’s 24 Oras Central Visayas for 16 years.

Among the issues raised by the complainants include the erroneous computation of their separation pay and other benefits as well as the “regularization of casual, contractual, and probationary employees at the time of the retrenchment.”

Veliganio said they did not receive any sufficient explanation from the management of GMA 7 on why they were retrenched last April 24.

“We were told that we have to go since there’s already a redundancy in job functions and responsibilities. But why am I, a senior reporter, included when there are those young employees who were retained?,” he said.

“If they based it on our performance, we passed the evaluation. And even if we failed, the first penalty should have been a warning or that we undergo training, not retrenchment,” he added.

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