The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) has called out Mediamax for sacking its staff en masse calling it a regratable ill-treatment.
The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) has learnt with regret ill-treatment Mediamax Acting Chief Executive Officer Ken Ngaruya has decided to subject company employees to in the ongoing unfair termination of contracts disguised as redundancies.KUJ
All of K24 Senior staff have been sent home after their positions were declared redundant.
However, a section of employees moved to court and successfully overturned the move by management for the month of April and May.
Last week, the employees wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta saying they have been neglected by the company, despite the President cushioning employees in other sectors due to Covid-19.
“Since the beginning of the crisis, we have seen you personally institute measures to cushion Kenyans against the economic shocks that came with it. However, at Mediamax, the esteemed organization that’s associated with your family has shown nothing but utter disdain for its biggest driving force – its staff. Unlike other companies that held dialogue with their employees through the painful but unavoidable measures, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ken Ngaruiya, was unilateralist in his approach,” says the company.
According to the letter, employees who moved to court to defend their rights have gone without pay for more than two months and this has exposed them and families to untold suffering, financial insecurity and psychological distress.
Below is the press statement from KUJ.
Press statement on unfair termination of Mediamax employee’s contracts
The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) has learnt with regret ill-treatment Mediamax Acting Chief Executive Officer Ken Ngaruya has decided to subject company employees to in the ongoing unfair termination of contracts disguised as redundancies.
While section 40 of Employment Act allows employers to terminate contract on account of redundancy, however, the process must be followed to ensure employees are treated in a just manner.
It has been brought to our attention that in unprecedented, move Mr Ngaruya decided to preside over a process where affected employees were sacked through SMS and asked to collect their letters that terminated their contracts at a hotel in Nairobi.
This is a clear contravention of the law and unfair best practices that Labour and Employment Court has ruled against in similar cases brought before it in the past. The process requires consultation and engagement with the affected employees before such decision is made.
Indeed, Mr Ngaruya has made history in labor relations as the first CEO to implement Section 40 of
Employment Act and Article 41 of the Constitution through an SMS. What a shame!
The illegal exercise disguised as redundancy negates the existence of the company which was incorporated as a news production and dissemination entity because it appears the so called restructuring has disbanded newsroom.
The company has taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to subject employees to unfair labour practice which include unilateral introduction of pay cuts, withholding salaries and now unfair termination of contracts disguised us redundancy.
While we condemn this illegal and unfair labour practice, which Constitution of Kenya outlawed in 2010, we demand that the company puts this exercise on hold to pave the way for consultations to comply with the law.
Failure to adhere to this, the company should prepare for the mother of all legal battles as Human
Resource Director and Mr Ngaruya will be held personally responsible for violation of a court order and subjecting employees to slavery.
Dated 22nd June 2020
Kenyan Business Feed is the top Kenyan Business Blog. We share news from Kenya and across the region. To contact us with any alert, please email us to [email protected]