MANILA, Philippines – GMA Network Inc (GMA-7) has signed a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with its employees’ union on Thursday, July 24 – exactly a month since the company announced San Miguel Corporation (SMC) chief Ramon S. Ang as a strategic investor.
The agreement contains a signing bonus of P95,000 ($2,193.24*) for all rank and file employees, and a wage increase of P7,000 ($161.54) distributed over a period of 3 years.
GMA-7 chairman and chief executive officer Felipe Gozon led the management in signing of the CBA, together with president and chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit, and executive vice president and chief finance officer Felipe Yalong. The GMA-7 Union was represented by its president, Robert Manalastas and other officers.
“This agreement clearly manifests the good relationship between the network’s management and its employees. Our people can trust that the management will continue to be transparent and generous as far as they are concerned,” Gozon said.
As of end-December 2013, GMA-7 had a workforce of 2,535, comprising of 62 officers, 1,099 regular employees, and 1,375 rank and file employees. It expects to hire an additional officer, 124 regular employees, and 77 rank and file employees this year.
New investor, low earnings
The owners of the broadcasting giant have decided to sell 30% of the company to Ang, GMA-7 announced in June 24.
Ang’s offer of P10.60 ($0.24) per share was better than the P9 ($0.21) per share offered by the PLDT Group. The deal with Ang follows years of failed negotiations between GMA-7 and the group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan. (READ: The love story of GMA-7, Pangilinan and Ang)
GMA-7 – controlled by the Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families – said Ang would take a “participating minority equity interest” in the company, subject to final terms and conditions.
Ang previously said that he forged the deal in his personal capacity and San Miguel, where he is key shareholder and president and COO, was not involved in any way.
The transaction solidifies Ang’s foray into media, which apart from GMA-7, is dominated by the ABS-CBN Corporation of the Lopez family. Pangilinan’s group, which owns TV 5 network, is a challenger in the industry.
Meanwhile, earnings of GMA plunged 46% to P325 million ($7.51 million) in the first quarter of the year compared to P601 million ($14.10 million) in the same quarter last year.
Revenues fell 12% to P2.85 billion ($65.87 million) from P3.24 billion ($74.88 million) due to the absence of non-recurring political advertisements.
The company’s operating expenses was flat at P2.36 billion ($54.55 million) as it managed to cut production costs by 7% to P1.27 billion ($29.35 million), offsetting the 10% growth in general administrative expenses to P1.09 billion ($25.19 million) due to the 12% increase in personnel costs. – Rappler.com
*($1 = P43.27)
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