Tension is reportedly high at Nation Media Group as dozens of employees face lay off this tough Njaanuary.Following a memo raised by the media house mid December 2016, the plan is going to happen.
The planned massive layoff at Nation Media Group has started with about 30 journalists targeted for removal from its editorial department. The company’s human resources department has already had individual talks with some 25 journalists since the beginning of the year, during which each was informed of the intention by the company to disengage them from service.
It is understood that out of the 25, eight journalists are members of the Kenya Union of Journalists, even though there are indications that more than this number would be offloaded. The company has already given the union notice of the planned sacking of some of its members. KUJ, which confirmed receiving a letter from the NMG, says it has already moved to court to block the sacking.
KUJ’s lawyer today filed the case at the Industrial Court to stop the restructuring, arguing that there is an ongoing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) dispute in court and thus NMG has no basis for calculating compensation packages for those unionisable employees to be affected. The case, which was heard by Justice Hellen Wasilwa, was certified as urgent and hearing has been set for Monday January 9th.
KUJ has sued Nation and Standard Group for declining to give its members a pay rise of at least 12 per cent last year. KUJ, which has now raised its demand to 50% pay increase for unionisable journalists, has hired lawyer Ogeto Ongori. It is seeking the court to award journalists 25 per cent salary increment each year for two years, backdated to April this year when the pay increase was supposed to be implemented.