Labor coalition, breaking apart?
MANILA – Will the coalition of workers’ groups head for a split? This is the question raised by some quarters after Trade Union congress of the Philippines Party List Rep. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza joined the 69 other lawmakers in denying the issuance of a congressional franchise on applicant ABS-CBN last Friday, July 10.
Nagkaisa is a labor coalition and has been consistent in its position in favor of giving ABS-CBN a franchise as reflected in their collective statements, media releases, online and live protest actions as well as position papers submitted to Congress since February 2020 to date.
Nagkaisa Chair Atty. Sonny Matula submitted a letter addressed to House Speaker Allan Peter S. Cayetano, Committee on Legislative Franchises Rep. Franz Alvarez, Committee on Labor Chair Rep. Enrico Pineda and Labor Vice Chair Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza calling on the House of Representatives to grant the country’s biggest radio and television network its franchise because of the grim possibility of some 11,000 jobs would be lost.
Rep. Mendoza, according to the Nagkaisa statement acknowledged receipt of the letter last May 21,2020 and even cited some of the labor coalition’s arguments in a letter the lawmaker submitted to Rep. Alvarez and Good Government and Public Accountability Chairperson Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, in support of a pro-worker franchise by proposed amendments to the franchise bill last July 6.
Nagkaisa members which includes the union of rank and file employees of ABS-CBN, affiliated with SENTRO, a member of the coalition, and other trade unions and workers’ groups were shocked upon learning that one of the coalition’s conveners, TUCP Party List Representative Mendoza did not toe the line and set aside the jobs of 11,000 workers and the means of survival of their families by voting to deny ABS-CBN of its franchise.
Aside from being disappointed, they expressed their disgust with Mendoza’s unacceptable behavior. The Labor coalition is asking Rep. Mendoza to explain the reason behind his vote.
Mendoza has assured Nagkaisa Chair Matula he will explain his side in due time. (Melo M. Acuña)