“TAG expresses its strong disappointment at this lousy treatment of the network’s talents, our colleagues, the network’s biggest assets, and yet, these are the very same people with no hazard pay nor allowance during these times.”
By ALYSSA MAE CLARIN
MANILA– The Talents Association of GMA Network (TAG) called out GMA’s ‘misleading statement’ claiming that employees would be getting their full compensation despite the network’s downscaling of operations amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
On March 19, GMA released a statement saying that the network would be giving employees their full salaries complete with the cash equivalent of their rice benefit, as well as the year-round medicine allowance and health card benefits accorded to all regular employees and their eligible dependents.
TAG said that the whole statement is ‘misleading,’ especially since talents and project employees won’t be receiving the same compensation.
“But that only affects the company’s regular employees,” argued TAG, adding that talents and project employees would only be receiving what they are owed after rendering their work, and everything else that follows are ‘loans.’
TAG said talents will be able to receive their salaries by end of March because they have already rendered their work for that cutoff, or March 1-15. GMA News TV went off air March 19.
“Because they will not be rendering work from March 19 to April 12, or the end of the lockdown, the talents will be getting a ‘cash advance,’ which is a fancy word for loan, or utang,” TAG explained
The group said that because of the quarantine, many media networks have downscaled their operations and were forced to put some shows off-air until the end of the Luzon-wide enhanced quarantine. The downscaling meant that the personnel behind these shows, most of them talents and project employees, will be out of work for at least a month. And for talents, it means that if there is no work, there is also no pay.
“TAG expresses its strong disappointment at this lousy treatment of the network’s talents, our colleagues, the network’s biggest assets, and yet, these are the very same people with no hazard pay nor allowance during these times,” the group said.
Most of these talents are production assistants, video researchers, production researchers, writers, producers, who, according to TAG, are integral to the workforce of these networks.
“Our colleagues, among the best, among the most hardworking in the industry, deserve so much better than this,” it said.
TAG called on the public to speak out against these unfair labor practices, and said that media people delivering news to the Filipinos are also frontliners, and should also be protected during the quarantine period.