Speaking to Lusa, the secretary general of the Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA), Teixeira Cândido, affirmed that the action against Media Nova stems from the lack of extrajudicial understanding with the group that, in an emergency period, dismissed 30 employees.
For SJA, the group, which owns Jornal O País, Rádio Mais, TV Zimbo and Gráfica Distribuidora, “violated the provisions of the state of emergency”, which ran from 27 March to 25 May, and that “ it prohibited dismissals and suspension of employment contracts ”.
The suspension of employment contracts in that group began to take effect on May 15 and did not cover employees of TV Zimbo.
“During the emergency period, companies were prohibited from firing workers, even though they could suspend. there was a dispatch from the Minister of Labor that imposed the payment of wages while the contracts were suspended, ”said Teixeira Cândido.
The union leader said that the latest extension of the state of emergency, due to covid-19, prohibited the suspension of contracts and dismissals of workers, so, he noted, Media Nova “did not respect the legal provisions”.
"Therefore, we are here in a clear violation of the law and that is what was evoked in court, that there was a violation of the law and that legality is restored," he underlined.
Teixeira Cândido, who regretted the situation, admitted, on the other hand, that the positioning of the Media Nova group, held by some Angolan generals, is symptomatic of an “indirect dismissal”, referring: "The colleagues were then forbidden to access the facilities of the New Media, I don't know why ".
After the first mandatory conciliation hearing, scheduled by the Luanda Court for Thursday, July 16, a second hearing is scheduled for August 14.
In April, Angolan journalists, mainly from private bodies, expressed their confidence that the "critical situation" of the sector, with "difficulties to pay salaries", aggravated by the covid-19, would be overcome, after a meeting with the Minister of Social Communication , Manuel Homem, on behalf of the President.
"This signal that the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, gave presupposes that yes, we will believe so, that the days of distress and difficulties that we are experiencing are really over," stated Teixeira Cândido at the time.
Speaking to Lusa at the end of a meeting they held with the Minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication, Manuel Homem, the union leader noted that the current scenario of the Angolan private press "is critical and emergency".