Set­tle­ment struck for com­pen­sa­tion of staff at shut­tered jour­nal

The Myanmar Times - - News - MAUNG ZAW maungzaw@mm­times.com

A COM­PEN­SA­TION deal has been struck for staff at the shut­tered Man­dalay Ah­lin news­pa­per, fol­low­ing months of ne­go­ti­a­tion and an of­fi­cial com­plaint lodged with the Labour Coun­cil and Na­tional Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion.

Former Man­dalay Ah­lin ed­i­torin-chief U Thant Zin Oo said the dis­pute over un­paid staff salaries reached a com­pro­mise yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions fa­cil­i­tated by the Chan Aye Tharzi town­ship em­ployer and worker me­di­a­tor team.

“We reached an agree­ment that com­pen­sa­tion for all the staff, in­clud­ing ed­i­tors, would be paid on a dead­line,” said U Thant Zin Oo. “We had a few dif­fi­cul­ties dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tion. But we ac­com­mo­dated [some fac­tors] so as to be con­ve­nient for all.”

Man­dalay Ah­lin daily news­pa­per be­gan pub­lish­ing on Fe­bru­ary 17, 2015. It ceased in July 2016 – just one year and six months af­ter its launch.

The set­tle­ment hashed out yes­ter­day states that com­pen­sa­tion linked to length of ser­vice and ter­mi­na­tion of em­ploy­ment will be paid within 30 days, and writ­ers’ fee will be paid in 60 days, he said. Twenty em­ploy­ees will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion.

“Staff will be paid a full onemonth salary in pay­ment for our ser­vice. In com­pen­sa­tion for be­ing sacked, the em­ployer’s side re­quested us to take half a month’s pay­ment,” U Thant Zin Oo, say­ing the de­sire for a speedy res­o­lu­tion won out. “We don’t want ne­go­ti­a­tion to take any longer so we ac­cepted.”

Two se­nior staff were re­port­edly of­fered a three-month ter­mi­na­tion pay­ment, but U Thant Zin Oo says ne­go­ti­a­tions on these cases are on­go­ing.

“For our com­pen­sa­tion, we have to con­tinue to ne­go­ti­ate with Mes­sen­ger Me­dia,” he said.

How­ever, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the news­pa­per said dis­cus­sions over the com­pen­sa­tion is­sue have closed.

“The ne­go­ti­a­tion has fin­ished con­ve­niently and we have noth­ing fur­ther to say,” said lawyer U Moe Min Swe, who was rep­re­sent­ing the Man­dalay Ah­lin news­pa­per.

Man­dalay Ah­lin was pub­lished by The Mes­sen­ger Me­dia, which as of the end of Oc­to­ber ceased its third and fi­nal pub­li­ca­tion. Pro­duc­tion of Man­dalay Ah­lin ended on July 14 due to fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and a lack of ad­ver­tis­ing. The price of a Man­dalay Ah­lin news­pa­per was K150 be­fore it stopped print­ing, said U Thant Zin Oo. – Trans­la­tion by Zar Zar Soe

and Win Thaw Tar

Photo: Maung Zaw

Staff mem­bers and own­ers of the de­funct Man­dalay Ah­lin news­pa­per re­solved a com­pen­sa­tion dis­pute yes­ter­day.

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