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DAVAO CITY, Philippines -- The AM and FM stations in Davao City of Radio Mindanao Network shut down Tuesday when 20 workers went on strike to protest what they said was the company’s failure to comply with their collective bargaining agreement.
The RMN Davao Employees Union launched the strike at 3 a.m., taking stations dxDC and IFM off the air.
“We stopped working for the management to realize that we are serious in this fight. And we will fight this out until they hear us,” RDEU president Rey Hernan Fabe said.
“This is not easy for us because the stations will be off-air. It means losses for the company. But we are fighting for our welfare and livelihood, too. This is our right,” Fabe said.
DxDC returned to the air at noon but broadcast only Manila programs.
The station went off-air again around 3 p.m.
The union, in a paper, accused RMN of not complying with a memorandum of agreement signed while they were still negotiating a new CBA.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chapter in Davao City supported the strike, calling it a “bargaining act that is rightful under the constitution.”
“The employer’s callousness to the wage demands of colleagues, which are a pittance compared to the profit earned by the company, deserves a damning action, no less. Refusing to go work until their demands are answered is but a fitting response of the workers to remind the company that they are, after all, the spokes that keep the radio business going, and churning in huge profits,” NUJP-Davao said in a statement.
The collective wage and non-wage demands of the employees amount to P99,000 a month.
The NUJP-Davao said RMN-Davao earns about P24 million monthly.
“Demand for decent wages cannot be put on hold, especially not with RMN doing good business, raking in huge profits. A decent wage is paramount to the media workers’ well-being,” NUJP-Davao said.
“Corollary to this is a condition for a free press,” the group added.