Communication Workers Union of Malawi faults Joy Radio over 16 employees retrenchment

Communication Workers Union of Malawi (COWUMA) has ordered Joy radio and television station to pay 16 employees who were retrenched their terminal benefits apart from faulting the institution for the decision.

Joy TV journalist busy

Joy Media Group last month retrenched some of its employees due to financial constraints which have left the institution on the brink of being declared bankrupt.

Meanwhile Southern Region Labour Office has also faulted the media institution for flouting laws in its decision to lay-off some of its workers, arguing the office was not informed about the issue.

In a letter dated January 4th, 2017 and signed by Hamilton Delezah which Nyasa Times has sourced, COWUMA faulted Joy Media Group for failing to explain, in the retrenchment letters, to the employees reasons for their retrenchment, notice pay, severance pay, leave days (if any), pension accumulated and any other allowances entitled to a particular individual such as house, fuel, airtime etc.

Delezah also faulted the company for labeling the retrenchment letter as termination letters, arguing “may have negative bearing on the ex-employees in terms of their exit dues”.

The institution has been given seven days to honor the order or face legal action.

On the other hand, Southern Region Labour Officer, Lenius Daiton has demanded an explanation from the institution for bypassing his office in retrenchment of the affected employees.

“If it’s true that you have retrenched some of your employees then you are requested to submit to my office the following: a list of retrenched employees indicating position of each employee, gender/sex, the date of employment, date of termination, current gross salary for each employee, all terminal benefits paid and total amount paid to each employee. Means of repatriating employees who are entitled to the same,” wrote Daiton.

The company is yet to respond to the order.

Joy radio and television stations have been battling an accumulated over K30-million debt in wage bill as the institution lost one of its vehicles in November to High Court Sheriffs for failing to pay Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) K4.5 million, as Nyasa Times revealed.

Employees have gone over six months without being paid their salaries due to financial constraints with debtors haunting the institution for unsettled debts. Joy media group has a monthly wage bill of about K6 million.

And weeks ago, the institution’s managing Director, Lloyd Zawanda sought blessing of Muluzi to retrench some of the employees as one of the measures to deal with the financial problems.

Those who faced the chop include Olive Magoya, Mary Liabunya, Morton Kalefya, Edith Mkwaila, Sam Mkoko, Chrissie Mainjeni, Gracious Chitakata, Daniel Mbingwani, Evelyn Pangani, Ronald Mkandawire among others.

And if being retrenched was not punishment enough, Zawanda and his team decided not to face and explain on face-to-face to the concerned employees, instead he opted of leaving their retrenchment letters and pay out cheques at the gate with a guard.

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