Labor group supports ABS-CBN franchise renewal

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – General Alliance of Workers Association (GAWA) chairman Wennie Sancho on Thursday declared support for the franchise renewal of TV network ABS CBN.

In a statement sent to Daily Guardian here, Sancho said GAWA fully supports the renewal of the media giant’s franchise.

Sancho said the labor sector believes that unless the “alleged violation of ABS-CBN would result in irreparable damage and would be grossly disadvantageous to the people,” the issue of franchise nullification is not warranted.

ABS-CBN has provided the workers with vital information on labor issues such as issuance of wage orders, advisories and updates on labor relations in Western Visayas, he added.

GAWA also considered ABS-CBN as one of its partners in its advocacy to protect the rights and welfare of the workers.

Sancho also said that the plight of about 11,000 workers who stand to lose their jobs in the event that the network will be shut down and the economic dislocation of their families should be seriously taken into consideration by the State.

The 1987 Constitution mandates that “the State shall afford full protection to labor and it shall promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all (Art. 13 Sec. 3 on Social Justice and Human Rights),” Sancho added.

He said it is unfortunate that the state through the Office of the Solicitor General OSG is now seeking to nullify the franchise of ABS-CBN that would result in massive unemployment.

“Where will the workers go to seek protection for the redress of their grievances?” Sancho asked.

He further said that in all likelihood, the attempt to shutdown ABS-CBN is anti-labor and contrary to the avowed policy of the government that “the State shall afford full protection to labor” and is therefore – unconstitutional.