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GMA seeks Supreme Court reversal of ruling on talents as regular employees

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GMA
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By Vann Marlo Villegas, Reporter

MEDIA company GMA Network , Inc. asked the Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the appellate court declaring more than 90 of its talents as regular employees.

In a 96-page petition, GMA said the Court of Appeals (CA) erred in affirming the findings of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which it claimed is not supported by ultimate facts, jurisprudence, and evidence on record.

“Petitioners urge this Honorable Court to take a look at the ultimate facts and totality of supporting evidence on record so that justice on the merits of the case ultimately be served,” it said.

It also said that the NLRC and the CA failed to consider the “history and peculiarity of the broadcast in the broadcast industry.”

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The CA in February last year ruled that the 96 talents are considered regular employees as they are part of the necessary crew whose jobs are vital in operating the business.

The appellate court also said a “four-fold test” in determining employee-employer relationship was established, referring to selection and engagement, payment of wages, power of dismissal, and power to control employee’s conduct.

The motion for reconsideration of the network was denied in November last year.

The network said that there is no employee-employer relationship between them and the respondents based on the said four-fold test.

GMA said it did not hire the respondents as employees and the recitals in the talent agreement are “but common wordings used in any service contract.”

“In either method of engagement of their services, Petitioner GMA’s primordial consideration was Respondent’s peculiar skills, expertise and talents. It is by reason of Respondent’s unique skills and talents not possessed by ordinary employees that their services were engaged by Petitioner GMA. This is undisputed and undeniable!” it said.

It also said that it does not pay their wages as they receive “talent fees” and it does not have power or control over how they work.

The network added that if the respondents will be declared with finality as regular employees, they should be regularized, including them in their equivalent positions with its organizational structure to “avoid salary dislocation.”

In a statement, Talents Association of GMA Network said the petition is “full of misleading statements.”

They said, contrary to the petition, that they were hired by GMA and they had regular schedules and reported to the office everyday and any call time set.

“We applied for our jobs, took examinations as in the normal employment tests, we’re interviewed, and we’re hired, as in the usual process for a regular job,” they said.

They also said that they welcome the petition as an opportunity to present their case.

“We welcome this opportunity to present to the Supreme Court not only our arguments, but our hard realities that also reflect the realities of many talents like us, in the media industry and outside,” they said.

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