(Eagle News) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) “denounced” what it called as efforts to misrepresent and deceive by “lawyers and officials” of ABS-CBN during the House of Representatives joint committee hearing on its franchise renewal application.
In a statement on Wednesday, July 1, the labor department said that it was not true that the ABSCBN was “compliant of labor laws and standards” as had been alleged by ABS CBN representatives during the hearing.
“The labor department denounces attempts by lawyers and officials of ABS CBN to misrepresent its position to deceive members of the House of Representatives in its bid to gain congressional approval for a new franchise,” the DOLE said in a statement.
“We also take strong exceptions to claims that the department has found ABS CBN compliant with labor laws and standards, and that we approve of the seasonal work status for the broadcast firm’s program employees,” it said.
-DOLE inspectors found violations by ABS CBN, it says-
DOLE said that facts bear them out, and that their labor inspectors had “found violations of laws and standards by ABS CBN.”
“And on account of those findings, the company took steps to correct those infractions,” it said.
“It is therefore patently misleading to attribute to us the claim that ABS CBN is a compliant company,” DOLE said.
It cited the 67 pending cases against ABS CBN in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and the various courts.
The labor department said ABS CBN’s lawyers misrepresented the department’s policy issuance. DOLE particularly cited its Policy Instruction No. 40 issued in 1979.
It warned the “broadcast firm’s counsels against wrongfully presenting policy issuances of the department to the advantage of their client.”
DOLE said that ABS CBN’s cited rule governing employee-employer relationship in the broadcast industry was “not aligned with the provisions of the Labor Code” and “does not anymore apply to date.”
“We also find most detestable the deliberate manner by which Policy Instruction No. 40 issued by the then Labor Minister in 1979 was volunteered to the House committee as basis for the work arrangement in ABS CBN,” the labor department’s statement said.
“Misleading as it is, it conveniently leaves the impression that the policy was that of current Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III,” it said.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises and the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability started tackling the alleged labor violations of ABS CBN in its hearings this week.
-DOLE report: only 2,481 employees of ABS CBN in 2018-
During the hearing, ABS CBN executives also admitted that its regular employees were only over 4,000. A DOLE report cited by House Deputy Speaker Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, however, showed that it only had 2,481 regular employees and 1,892 regular seasonal employees from 2015 to 2018.
ABS CBN officials had also admitted during the hearing that over 8,000 of their workers were either independent contractors or program employees, all of whom were not regular employees.
During the hearing, former ABS CBN workers who had been dismissed also testified to attest to ABS CBN’s failure to regularize them despite years of having worked in the company.
ABS CBN had repeatedly claimed that it has over 11,000 employees. Yesterday, it said that its regular employees were only around 4,000.
(Eagle News Service)