By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Times Newspaper and TVG Evening News have come in for some very unfavorable reviews from the Ministry of Social Protection Department of Labour on Monday, August 17 during a meeting with media workers.
The meeting was held with a team from the Labour Department which included Minister Simona Broomes and Deputy Chief Labour Officer, Lydia Green.
Although there were no representatives from the Guyana Times/TVG at the meeting, the media was told that the number of complaints received from employees outnumbered the rest of media houses. The employees believe that their labour rights are being violated and trampled upon by the management of the company and those in charge of their immediate supervision.
Minister Broomes said that most of the complainants asked that their names be withheld since they are afraid of being victimized. The company has long been a place where reporters would describe it as a “slave camp.”
There are claims that the reporters were hired to write for either the newspaper or television but were also receiving direction to prepare news for the radio, without getting any extra pay. The labour department made it clear that no worker, despite which company they work for, should be allowed to work beyond eight hours and not be paid for it.
Additionally, while the minister acknowledged that some companies do have their own policies which workers sign onto, many of those are flawed as they violate the labour laws and those maters will be addressed during unannounced visits to those media houses.
One of the common concerns the department found among reporters is that they are mandated to work long hours, work on their days off, work over time and holidays and are sometimes not adequately paid.
The complaints however were not restricted against Guyana Times and TVG, but almost all media houses in the country including the State own National Communications Network Inc. and Guyana Chronicle Newspaper.