DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 March) — Members of the Radio Mindanao Network Davao Employees’ Union (RDEU) yesterday staged a protest rally urging the network management to immediately hold a certification election.
The protesters threw red paint on a signage that had the initials RMN but which read Repressive Media Network to symbolize their grievance against the management.
“Isip mga empleyado, aduna mi katungod nga magtukod og unyon.Ang among gikatingalahan, nganong ginalangan mi nga pagabuhaton ang usa ka lehitimong aksyon (As employees, we have a right to form a union. We wonder why they [management] bar us from executing a legitimate action),” RDEU president Rey Hernan told MindaNews.
MindaNews called RMN on Monday and again on Tuesday but was told that the station manager was not around and that nobody else from management was available for comment.
The protesters also hit the Department of Labor and Employment for allegedly contributing to the delay in the holding of the certification election.
On January 28, the DOLE dismissed for lack of merit the petition of RMN against the holding of the certification election.
RDEU said that with the decision in their favor they were set to hold the election but that it has not pushed through with the DOLE regional office telling them that the necessary documents from Manila had not arrived.
RDEU said they spent their own money to secure the said documents in Manila but that the DOLE regional office told them to wait for further order from the national office.
“Ila na mi’ng giayo oglangan-langan. Duha na ka bulan ang milabay, apan wala pa g’yud napatuman ang CE. Nagapanghinaot mi nga wala’y panag-kunsabo sa DOLE Region XI ug sa RMN management (They have been really delaying us. It’s been two months since we were allowed to hold CE. We can only hope that there is no connivance between DOLE Region XI and RMN Management)” said Hernan.
In a phone interview, DOLE XI officer in charge Joffrey Suyao said they had a dialogue with some RDEU members to clarify the matter.
“We were actually surprised when we learned yesterday that the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) has already given a go signal to hold CE. So we immediately called the national office of BLR and asked them why they haven’t given us the files which are required for us to hold the CE,” Suyao said.
“We were instructed na kami na lang talaga ang pumunta sa (that we would be the ones to go to the) post office to verify if the copy of the notice has been received, and then they will send us the complete records of this case so we can hold the CE,” he said.
The official added the files secured by RDEU were photocopies and that they really needed the original files from BLR to be able to conduct the election.
DREU was formed in August last year after a series of dismissals of RMN employees. Among those dismissed was then station manager Mario Maximo “Dodong” Solis.
“They have to allow us to hold a certification election. They should let their employees decide if we want a union or not, instead of stonewalling on our rights as employees. Inasmuch as our government guaranteed their right to association, the DOLE should also make sure that we are also granted our rights),” Hernan said.
The protest was supported by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Kilusang Mayo Uno. (Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan/MindaNews)