Employees laid off from CNN Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Several employees of CNN Philippines face the new year with uncertainty after they were told that they would be let go as part of the company's "rightsizing" program.

Nine Media Corporation, which operates the CNN brand in the Philippines, issued notices of "rightsizing” to some CNN Philippines employees, informing them that they would be employed only until February 10. 

A source said management has confirmed that 88 CNN PH workers would lose their jobs.

Employees who received the notice were told that their positions were found redundant after the company assessed its operational requirements. 

The letter, dated January 11, was signed by Nine Media Corporation president Armie Jarin Bennett. Rappler got in touch with Bennett but received no response as of posting time. 

The company, through the notice, also informed the employees that they were not required to report to work until their termination date so they could find another job. They will still be able to receive their compensation and benefits during that time even if they opt to skip work.  

Those given notices reportedly included editors, engineers, cameramen, coordinators, floor directors, graphics artists, and associate producers.

In a statement released Thursday evening, the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) expressed their solidarity with their fellow media employees.  

“We stand with our colleagues at CNN Philippines as they join countless of other media workers who have been deprived of job security despite their years of service," the group said in the statement posted on the Facebook Page Buhay Media. 

“We continue to call the attention of media stakeholders and legislators to address the issues faced by the industry – such as the existence of the talent/project employee/independent contractor system (aka contractual workers), the absence if not lack of benefits and security of tenure and weak union systems,” the group added.

In February last year, TV5 dismissed 98 employees most of whom served the company for a decade. Veteran broadcaster Kathy San Gabriel’s abrupt removal as a PTV anchor brought to light the termination of mostly contractual workers in the state-run network. 

“We will never forget the illegal dismissal and unfair labor practices experienced by contractual workers in GMA, ABS-CBN, and TV5. We also remember how veteran journalists in PTV were terminated with no clear and valid reasons,” reminded TAG, whose members have a labor case against GMA. 

TAG stressed the importance of news institutions in a time when false news is rampant.

“At a time where fake news is rampant, and the call for accountability and truth is ever so crucial, we must fiercely support our news institutions so they may not crumble when they are needed the most," it said.

That support begins and ends with protecting the welfare of the workers who risk their lives every day doing this job,” TAG added. (READ: Democracy under threat: We will shine the light, we will hold the line) – Rappler.com