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Workers to Bubble Gang: Strikes are no joke

Press Release
15 March 2019


The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the Alyansa ng Progresibong Obrero ng Yin Gang Motorcycles (APOY) union denounced Saturday GMA 7’s weekly gag show Bubble Gang for its malicious portrayal of labor strikes on its March 15, 2019 episode.

The show ran several short skits portraying striking workers getting paid P100 each by the strike leader.

BMP chair and senatorial candidate Leody de Guzman condemned the portrayal as a “blatant lie by the producers of Bubble Gang.”

“Is this how GMA 7 and Bubble Gang view us workers? Are we a joke to them?” De Guzman questioned.

“Labor strikes are serious actions being waged by workers in order to compel companies to respect union rights and comply to labor standards. This is a right guaranteed by our Constitution and the Labor Code,” explained the labor candidate, who actively supported the struggle of GMA 7 contractual workers when they protested the network’s labor malpractices in 2015.

BMP national president Luke Espiritu explained that the exercise of the right to strike is a “huge sacrifice by the workers,” contrary to what Bubble Gang had wrongfully portrayed.

Speaking at the picketline in West Canumay, Valenzuela, he explained that during strikes, “workers have to temporarily leave their families, live in makeshift tents, sleep on concrete, endure insect bites and harsh elements, and under the permanent threat of violence by management’s strike breakers or the police.”

“Such sacrifice is not worth P100 each. The workers are fighting for are their regular jobs, decent wages and benefits, and recognition of their union. That is not worth P100!” Espiritu said.

Jeremy Carpe, president of APOY and a contractual worker in Yin Gang Motorcycles said that he feels offended by Bubble Gang’s portrayal of a strike and disclosed that the union even declined a separation package offered by management.

“Inoperan kami ng YGM ng malaki-laking separation pay para itigil na namin ang welga at umalis na kumpanya. Pero aanhin namin ang pera kung kontraktwal pa rin kami sa lillipatan namin? Aanhin namin ang pera kung sa mahal ng presyo ng bilihin ay mauubos din ito agad? Ang gusto namin ay regular na trabaho, sapat na benepisyo, at karapatang mag-unyon dahil regular ang aming pangangailangan sa araw-araw. Hindi kami humihingi ng limos,” Carpe said.

For his part, Sonny Melencio, chair of party-list group Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) said that TV networks such as GMA 7 are the ones that are “bayaran.”

“The capitalists of these networks, who insult workers as violent or paid hacks whenever they wage strikes, are the one who are bayaran. They earn millions from trapo politicians who buy airtime and they even sell their TV programs by the millions of pesos to portray corrupt politicians as heroes,” Melencio said.

De Guzman says he finds it despicable that mass media instead of propagating the upholding of the peoples basic rights has done the opposite by propagating the culture of apathy and that principles can be bought.###

Reference: Luke Espiritu, BMP President, 0995 9729969

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