South Africa 23.7.2018 07:37 am

False promises and no pay for former ANN7 journalists

Vila Kasi Holdings founder and businessman Channon Merricks after his staff revolted over unpaid salaries, Johannesburg, 12 June 2018. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Vila Kasi Holdings founder and businessman Channon Merricks after his staff revolted over unpaid salaries, Johannesburg, 12 June 2018. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Despite not being paid, media company Vila Kasi allegedly called for employees to return to work on Sunday.

Former workers from the Gupta-initiated ANN7 TV channel, who left the company to join a TV startup, are still waiting for their money after the promised new outlet failed to start operations.

However, the head of the media company punting the new TV channel has urged workers to report for work today. According to disgruntled, unpaid employees, Channon Merricks, the head of media company Vila Kasi, had allegedly called for his employees to return to work today, despite not paying their salaries.

About 78 workers who previously worked for the ANN7 news channel, later known as Afro Worldview, claimed they were persuaded by Merricks to join his new broadcasting channel after he claimed he had a deal with MultiChoice, who supposedly promised him the spot of ANN7, which is scheduled to end in August.

They said the deal turned sour after they had worked for over a month without pay.

An employee, who chose to remain anonymous, told The Citizen the workers had still not been paid after Vila Kasi took to social media to issue yet another promise of payment by last Friday.

He said he and his colleagues would not return to work until they were paid. According to him, the employer sent a text message to one of the workers not only calling for workers to return to work in August, but insinuating that some had received their salaries while others did not … which only spurred more confusion among the workers.

The text message read: “We hereby request from staff that received salary payments not to discuss this information with third parties.”

“I am not sure [what this is] but he could be continuing to mislead all the people and maintain breaching our contracts,” said the source.

Merricks’ only response to the issue was that Vila Kasi would not be taking any interviews until August 1, when the new channel is to be launched. 

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android

 

03

today in print