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Journalists’ Union condemns Standard Group for 10 months of non-payment of salaries

The Kenya Union of Journalists has condemned the Mombasa Road-based media house, Standard Group, for failing to pay its employees for 10 months.

In their statement issued on November 9, 2023, Secretary General Erick Oduor said the Union had been receiving distress calls from frustrated employees who had not received salaries for between six and 10 months.

“We have decided to call this press conference because we have tried other means, mainly negotiations with management to find solutions to the non-payment of salaries to staff, but regrettably, only unfulfilled promises were made. We are saying Enough is Enough! We have received distress calls from frustrated colleagues, and the company must be ready to take responsibility for mental torture that could lead some employees to make unfortunate decisions,” began Mr Oduor.

He further said that since Standard Group operates in the Kenyan media space, their bad management practices, injustices and violations of human rights must be called out.

“The company has lost its moral compass and, therefore, can no longer purport to question injustices and bad governance. It must now remove the log from its eyes first. rights are being violated by the employer, yet wages and salaries are protected by the Employment Act. In addition, Article 41 of the Constitution guarantees every worker a right to fair labor practices,” added Mr Oduor.

Standard Group staff are reported to have not been paid for six months while photographers and correspondents have gone for 10 months without any compensation.

“This is not only illegal but immoral and a gross violation of human rights, and therefore, the company must be held to account, especially by its stakeholders and business partners. We call upon the board of Standard PLC to respect the rights of these workers and meet their end of the bargain so that their staff can live in dignity and meet their financial obligations. We also call for investigations into the company’s financial transactions to explain to the public what went wrong,” Mr Oduor demanded.

Additionally, Standard Group staff are also reported to have lost their savings with company Sacco as the company had not been remitting their premiums. He called on the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority to help members recover their money.

“Lastly, we are giving the company 14 days to come up with a payment plan to settle arrears, or else we will mobilize media workers in a solidarity strike to picket at the company’s offices countrywide,” concluded Mr Oduor.

Standard Group has been on a loss-making streak for years now. This has seen the mass exit of staff ranging from television personalities, to broadcast and editorial journalists and correspondents. Mass layoffs were also witnessed at the media house as the company also urged some of their staff to opt for early retirement as opposed to being fired/laid off with lower compensation.

Standard Group is a legacy media house that owns Standard Newspaper, KTN, KTN News, Radio Maisha, Spice FM, Vybz FM, and other media products.

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