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Nine journalists leave radio connected to UNITA and go to claim salaries in court

Nine journalists from Radio Awakening, assigned to UNITA, who are claiming overdue salaries, will disassociate themselves from the company and go to court to claim compensation, a union official told Lusa.


The director of the radio, Emanuel Malaquias, acknowledged that there have been delays, which he attributes to the loss of income resulting from the "difficult economic situation," but assured that he has done everything to preserve jobs and accused the union committee of having refused to negotiate the payment of the salary in instalments.

João Walter dos Santos, one of the radio journalists and a member of the Journalists Union, said that the nine workers have decided to present their disengagement and will "fight in justice" to be compensated.

The journalist accused the radio station's management and UNITA of "abuse of trust" and also promised to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office due to an alleged embezzlement of funds.

"How is it possible that a party with 50 deputies claims difficulties in paying our salaries and says it has no money. There has been embezzlement of funds and this damages the normal functioning of the company," he denounced.

João Walter dos Santos said that UNITA also claimed not to have received the funding it is supposed to receive as a political party, but pointed out that over the past three months, without receiving a salary, journalists have been forced to work.

Asked if the situation has been repeated on other occasions, João Walter dos Santos, who has been on the radio since it was created in 2006, said that "it has already happened" and revealed that changes of direction are constant.

"The last PCA [chairman of the board of directors] resigned because he didn't agree with this. The commercial director has also resigned," he continued, noting the unease in the company.

In a statement to Lusa, the radio's general manager, Emanuel Malaquias, denied the existence of three outstanding salaries.

"There are two salaries, the third is still within the legal deadline to pay and another started to be paid today. So, factually, it's a salary that is behind schedule", he underlined.

"We live a terrible internal conjuncture, we are a private company that has clients and our clients don't have money to pay the debts", he explained.

A large part of the revenues came from radio and advertising spaces bought by churches that, due to measures to prevent and combat covid-19, were forced to suspend the services "and ran out of money to pay".

Emanuel Malaquias stressed that the priority of the radio management has been the preservation of jobs.

"The supposed union commission refused to negotiate the gradual payment of wages. We don't want to fire workers, we want to preserve the families, and that influences this delay," he said.

On its website, Despertar presents itself as a generalist radio station whose main objective is the broadcasting, production, realization and broadcasting of cultural, recreational and informative programs.

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