By Asma Al-Mohattwari
Television and radio employees gathered outside the gate of the Public Foundation for Radio and Television on 2 February to protest violations of their rights, employees said. If their demands are not meant, employees threatened to strike.
Employees are demanding permanent, salaried positions. Employees stated they were being paid by the day. Some workers have been employed up to eight years without an offer of a salaried position.
Majed Nasser, a worker in the radio and television station, said that more than 650 workers in the Al-Eman, Yemen and Saba channels have not been paid. Nasser stated that Chairman of Television Programming, Hussein Salim, threatened to fire employees if they did not stop the protests. Nasser vowed to continue, and to go on strike if necessary.
More than 200 workers at Saba news alone have gone unpaid. Most of the unpaid are photographers, content writers, lighting specialists and other technical workers.
Protesters demanded their pay and en end to corrupt practices where friends and relatives of management received salaried positions.
Former worker, Abulmalik Al-Jahdri, lost his job in September. Al-Jahdri was an organizer who stood up for his rights and encouraged others to do the same, he said.
TV presenter Aqil Al-Modhwhi said workers must have basic rights, including their salaries and job security. Not only is it good for the workers, but it improves job performance, he said.
“Saba channel workers have been there for up to six years. They aren’t even receiving their salaries at the moment, just empty promises,” Al-Modhwhi said.