K24´s woes deepen as employees address disturbing letter to President Uhuru (Screenshots)
It has been a worrying trend in Mediamax-owned television station, K24 since the very day it announced a mass firing amongst its employees, thereafter declaring a 50% pay cut on them.
Yes, these are distressing and hard economic times in the country and the world at large, as we grapple to fight the spread and mass destruction of the deadly Coronavirus.
However, in as much as retrenchments and pay cuts are taking effect each passing day, it is only noble to consult your employees before arriving at any decisions severely affecting them.
Penning a letter addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta whose family is a major shareholder of the Mediamax network, staff cried out on the lack of dialogue regards their employment contracts.
According to them, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ken Ngaruiya´s approach to these troubled times has been nothing but unilateral.
He reportedly went ahead to breach the employees´ contracts by backdating a pay cut notice while the month was actually ending.
He, [Ken Ngaruiya] on April 19, 2020, issued a notice on a 50% pay cut across nearly all cadres of staff and backdated to April 1. Though this was 19 days into a month, he didn´t seem to care about the welfare of the workers weighed down by the pressures of Covid-19 and other responsibilities.
To this, employees pinned the ongoing crisis at the Kijabe street-located TV station that saw employees move to court to defend their breached terms of contract.
Unfortunately, those that moved to court went without 2-months´ salaries and even after trying to involve the acting CEO in dialogue, their efforts were countered with ´blackmail, intimidation and other cheap maneuvers´.
He has not only delayed salaries, but withheld pay for those he has labeled enemies for going to court. He has also ignored court order after court order with a grand sense of impunity, claiming that he is untouchable.
Speaking of court orders, Wednesday, June 10, Justice Bryam Ongaya issued an order to the company to fully pay its employees their pending April and May salaries.
With no orders on costs and with further orders that the contract of service between parties is preserved with no pay cuts but affected staff may go on redundancy per law and prevailing contracts. The contract is in place without pay cuts and the law says when they should be paid so the law is in place.
Court orders that Mr Ngaruiya allegedly disobeyed – a move the employees termed ´total disregard for a legitimate legal process´.
The K24 acting CEO is reportedly set to be sending employees who went to court parking, with no penny which will only end up inflicting pain on those involved and their families.
We find it disrespectful that he is invoking your name and that of your family to ignore court orders and turn DSM into a doghouse.
Closing off, the letter read in part:
Sir, please save us from the Ngaruiya knee-lock. We can´t breathe! Ngaruiya must not be let to wallow in his delusional air of arrogance and impunity to the detriment of hardworking and diligent workers…
According to them, it is this impunity that saw the likes of media firebrands like Betty Kyallo quit on Live TV.
As we speak, the Kenya Revenue Authority issued a notice regards the Paye Tax return verification to the Mediamax Newtork Limited asking that certain documents be availed to the revenue body as of June 17.
Two officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority were sent to the premises to verify the indicated records – among them being the payroll, contract letters and the hiring and redundancies schedules of the company.