By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Wednesday said employees of ABS-CBN shall continue to be employed despite the cease and desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission against the television network.
“The issuance of the cease and desist order does not have immediate impact on the employment of its employees,” he said.
“Employees shall continue to be employed,” added Bello.
He said the employees shall remain entitled also to all labor standards.
The labor chief explained that the order does not automatically extinguish the corporate existence of any company.
Bello added that legal remedies are also available.
He expressed hope that the issue will be resolved based on applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Bello said what is paramount is the protection of the rights and the promotion of the welfare of all workers, particularly those of ABS-CBN.
In the event that ABS-CBN decides to lay-off some of its workers, Bello said it must go through the established standards of termination.
“They have to go through legal procedure. This CDO cannot be used as a basis to terminate employees,” he said in an interview.
The NTC on Tuesday directed the network to stop operations of its television and radio stations nationwide, “absent a valid Congressional Franchise required by law.”
The network’s operating franchise expired on May 4.
The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (NAGKAISA), meantime, condemned the decision of the NTC to shut down ABS-CBN saying the move callously rendered more than 11,000 workers jobless at a time when the country is reeling from the COVID-19 crisis.
“The closure is detrimental to the employment of thousands of its employees and other employees of companies directly or indirectly related to the business of the giant media establishment,” Sonny Matula, Nagkaisa chairperson said.
“The continuous operations of the ABS-CBN is not only good for freedom of expression — one of the hallmarks of a democratic society– but also good for workers and their families. It means employment and livelihood for them all,” he added.
NAGKAISA called on the NTC to immediately reverse its decision and let Congress decide on the matter.
READ MORE: NTC orders ABS-CBN to stop operations