Congo: IFJ Calls for Government Action to Stop Abuse of Workers Rights by Media Group

May. 08, 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today protested against the dismissal of ten employees of Global FM in Kananga (Central Democratic Republic of Congo) following months of unpaid wages with no prospect of compensation.

Five months ago, 15 staff at Global TV Kinshasa were dismissed after they demanded payments of unpaid salaries of between six and nine months. Both companies are owned by a prominent Congolese politician, Mrs. Catherine Nzuzi wa Mbombo.

These combined incidents suggest a deliberate policy of employing, failing to pay and then sacking staff without compensation, said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. It is disgraceful that such practices can occur, particularly, in companies owned by a prominent political figure.

The dismissed staff were first employed in June 2006 when Global FM launched its operations in Kananga. According to the National Union of Press Professionals (SNPP) of DRC, the employees have never been paid since they were first recruited.

The radios management told the Provincial Executive Secretary of the SNPP in Kananga, Mr Mabika Kasongo, that they had decided to close because they could no longer afford the rent. Instead they have planned to build their own premises for the station; and meanwhile, the ten members of staff will leave without any compensation having worked unpaid for almost a year.

If the company can afford to finance the building of a new station it must first be forced to settle its debts towards its staff, added Stanis Nkundiye General Secretary of the SNPP. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Antoine Gizenga, should launch an investigation into the employment practices of this and other companys owned by Catherine Nzuzi wa Mbombo to demonstrate that politicians are not above the law.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries

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