By Moses Kaketo
Monitor Publications has up to 24th May 2021, to address the issues raised by former employees who were sacked last month.
Twelve former senior editors and managers accuse their former employer of unjustified, unfair and unlawful summary termination.
Last month, Nation Media Group (NMG), the Kenyan company that owns Daily Monitor, the East African, NTV Uganda, Spark TV, KFM and Ddembe FM laid off 41 employees.
In an email to staff from NMG Uganda’s managing director, Tony Glencross, said the Group intends to “radically change our business model for all our media platforms from traditional advertising to content-driven revenue”.
At the end of the painful exercise, 41 staff, 15 from NTV Uganda and 26 from Daily monitor were sent home.
The axe has not spare the Group Human Resource manager, Moses Ssesanga.
The sacked staff through the Centre for Legal Aid have thought help from Kampala Capital City Authority labour office.
The office has already written to Monitor Publications
The group is led by former public editor Charles Odoobo Bichachi, Richard Oundo, Patrick Matsiko wa Mucoori, all long time editors at the paper.
Others are: Cissy Makumi, Patrick Matsiko, Mark Kawalya, Stephen Segawa, Jenifer Aketch, Jude Luggya, Risdel Kasasira, Misairi Thembo, Abdul Nasser Ssemugabi, Felix Basiime and Justus Katungi, long time circulation manager.
‘ ‘ Pursuant to section 12(1) 70(1) 93(2) of the employment act 2006, our clients jointly and severally hereby lodge a complaint against the respondent[ Monitor Publications ] the following grounds’’ the letter 5th May by Centre for Legal Aid addressed to KCCA labour office and copied to Monitor publications reads In part.
It adds: While purporting to restructure the company, sometime in March/ April, without genuine reasons and without going through a full and a fair consultation process with the complainants jointly or severally before making a final decision about their redundancy.
‘’ In particular, the employer, unjustifiably concealed the criteria it purportedly followed in reaching the decision to abolish some positions while retaining others In the same organizational structure and In selecting the same complainants as the unfit employees who had to be laid off for redundancy or other concealed reasons’’ the sacked employees noted.
The 12 former employees claim Monitor Publications, did not pay them their due compensation for unfair dismissal, severance allowance and other accrued terminal benefits
Through their lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde of the Centre for Legal Aid, the discontented former staff are asking the KCCA labour office to ‘’ carry out an inquiry into their matters and issue appropriate orders to ensure that each complaint is made whole’’
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Labour office writes to Monitor Publications
In the letter dated 10th May 20201, the KCCA Labour office wrote to Monitor Publication CEO asking him to pay attention to the issues raised by his former staff
‘’ If you can settle this matter to the satisfaction of the complainants without reference to me. Please do so otherwise, I shall be glad if you let me have your comment on the issues latest 24th May 2021’’ Mr. Machael Baruch, the KCCA labour officer wrote