Settlement struck for compensation of staff at shuttered journal
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
Staff members and owners of the defunct Mandalay Ahlin newspaper resolved a compensation dispute yesterday.