GMA-7 Talents at Risk of Losing Jobs in December over Labor Issues

GMA-7 Talents at Risk of Losing Jobs in December over Labor Issues

The talents working in network giant GMA-7 are running the risk of losing their jobs over issues of regularization and alleged unfair labor practices.

In an investigative report on Manila Today, the plight of these workers was revealed for the world to see.

According to the report, many of the so-called ‘talents’ have long been working behind the scenes for the network in various programs. A lot have been in the network for over 10 years yet they are still considered as ‘talents’, not as regular workers.

What’s the difference?

Whereas regular workers work on regular office hours, talents often work on odd hours. More often than not, these could mean working more than 8 hours a day.

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

They do not get a lot of credit from their work despite being the ones who are actually doing the research, investigations, interviews, creative work, etc. for the network. Yes, their names are placed at the credits yet how many people bother reading these small words that quickly move across the screen, anyway? Honestly, I certainly don’t. My bad.

During events such as team building events and parties, regulars can bring their families but talents are allegedly barred from bringing theirs. For company-sponsored raffle promos, separate tambiolos are dedicated for the talents – though that might seem better because they don’t have to compete with the regulars, I would assume the prizes are different because the talents are complaining about it.

How much are they earning?

Manila Today also detailed how these talents do not receive benefits like SSS, Philhealth, health care insurance, and HDMF.

They are under the “no work, no pay” policy even when they have valid reasons for not being able to work, said Bowe Cabaluna who has been in the company for 9 years. No overtime pay is also given.

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

Their pay rates are often dependent on the popularity of the show/s they are working for.

According to someone from GMA-7 public affairs who requested anonymity, her pay is Php2500 per segment. She has to work on 2 segments per episode. Sounds good, right?

Well, according to her, it often takes her an entire week to work and complete those 2 segments. So, that means she gets just P10,000 for the entire month. For someone living in Metro Manila, do you think the pay rate is OK??? Considering these networks are earning a lot of money, the talents believe they deserve better pay rates.

Now, what happens if a show is cancelled? They DO NOT GET PAID! Even if they already prepared and completed materials ready for airing, if the show is axed or replaced, they don’t get paid for their efforts.

Pushing for regularization

Many of the talents are pushing for regularization, especially because many have been in the network for years. However, they are now being required to sign the Project Employment Contract (PEC). If they don’t do that by December, then their contracts are terminated – regardless of how long they have been working for GMA-7.

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

For example, Chloe Garcera-Ben has worked for close to 13 years as head coordinator of Imbestigator, dubbed as “Sumbungan ng Bayan” and one of the network’s largest public affairs programs. Last month, her contract was not renewed because she refused to sign the PEC.

It did not matter that she was among the backbones behind the program because, apparently, it is easy for the network to find a replacement.

Fighting for their rights

The talents have created a group they are calling as Talents Association of GMA (TAG). They are planning to register the group but couldn’t create a union because, technically, they are not employees of GMA.

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

Photo credit: Facebook/Buhay Media

They also started a Facebook page called “Buhay Media” which aimed to show the public the lives of the people behind the camera lens.

The group is hoping that GMA-7 will listen to their calls for better work conditions, excellent pay rates, and regularization, if not for themselves, then for the talents the network is sure to employ in the future.

ERRATUM

CLARIFICATION: More than 100 GMA-7 talents filed a labor case against the network and thus risk losing jobs in December, not 2,000 as reported by thedailypedia.com.

GMA Network released a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the ongoing online protest against their new policy:

Contrary to the unfair and baseless accusations made by the complainants, GMA Network cares for its talents, whom it considers vital to its success.

GMA Network gives importance to all its workers, regardless of their employment status. Part of the Network’s efforts for the welfare of its talents is the Project Employment Contract (PEC), which provides a specific set of benefits responsive to their needs and interests.

The matter has been brought to the National Labor Relations Commission and we believe that the grievances of the complainants should be aired in the proper forum.

About author

Joy Adalia
Joy Adalia 319 posts

A non-functioning licensed Chemist but full-time mommy of 2 kids, full-time wife, and full-time freelancer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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