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MANILA, Philippines--Over 200 employees of broadcast network RPN-9 have filed a notice of strike to protest the station’s impending closure as well as unfair labor practices and unpaid benefits amounting to P800 million.
In a statement sent to media on Tuesday, the RPN9 Employees Rank-and-File Union (RPNEU) and RPN Directors and Supervisors Union (RPN DSU) said the notice of strike was filed before the Department of Labor and Employment Monday.
The filing came as protest actions are being staged for three weeks now.
The labor unions decried the privatization of RPN9 without the unions and the employees being consulted.
“The unions and employees see RPN9 being privatized but the employees will be left out in the cold, leaving them no retirement benefits and worse, jobless,” the groups said.
The groups claimed that they have sent letters to the RPN9 management regarding their concerns but these were ignored.
“The unions and employees stressed that they are for privatization. They waited more than 20 years for this to happen and see this government administration really serious for the privatization of RPN9. They believe this will end all the very long sufferings and hardships of the employees, especially those who are already retired but have not yet received their retirement pay; along with the employees aged 50 years old and above or more than 30 years in service who really want to retire from the company, but think otherwise because they would not receive their retirement pay,” they said.
Solar Entertainment is expected to take over the RPN News Department, leaving more than 70 RPN9 news talents jobless and more than 50 regular employees on floating status.
The labor groups said the RPN management failed to inform the affected employees about the consequences of the management transfer on their status as employees.
Last February 17, the groups received notice that RPN9 would be going off the air on February 25.
With this, the groups appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to intervene in the looming privatization.
“The employees want to be assured that they will benefit from the privatization, particularly with the payment of their retirement pay in accordance with the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
"The total amount of the current employees’ (union members only) retirement pay and unpaid benefits is more than P800 million,” they said.