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Workers angry as future uncertain

Published: 
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Emotions ran high at state-owned Caribbean News Media Group (CNMG) on Thursday, after it was announced that the company was winding down its operations to be replaced by the revived T&T Television (TTT).

Employees who turned up for work at CNMG’s Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain, office yesterday felt a sense of hopeless and helplessness over what lies ahead for them.

Many staff members could not perform efficiently and effectively due to the devastating news, several workers told the T&T Guardian.

CNMG has 112 permanent employees and 37 freelancers who are now out of jobs with CNMG’s impending closure.

Speaking to the T&T Guardian on condition of anonymity, one employee said with jobs hard to come by due to the downturn in the economy, the majority of staff will apply for whatever positions TTT advertises.

“A lot of us will have to find some way to rebuild our life and move forward. There is no guarantee that TTT will employ us. One has to remember that the media industry is contracting and a lot of people lost their jobs in recent times who will no doubt apply as well. So this will make it harder for us to remain employable. We can be edged out of the selection process,” the worker explained.

“Yesterday was a sad day for many of us, especially those who worked tirelessly to bring out the news every night. There was a lot of disappointment and anger. We thought they were going to restructure CNMG, not shut it down entirely. To me, this is a guise for retrenching workers, that is how we see it.”

The employee said Minister of Public Administration and Communications Maxie Cuffie asked the employees to cooperate as it was in their best interest. However, a senior newsroom staff member was more optimistic.

“I am not in the least bit worried. I believe when one door closes another opens,” she said.

A member of the production department said they felt betrayed for being kept in the dark for so long.

“At least the Government could have said something a long time ago. Just so, just so, we were told about CNMG shutting down. How is this fair to us? People have families to support, children to send to school and mortgages to pay. Everyone has been thrown into a tailspin,” the said.

The employee said they were waiting to hear what they will be offered in terms of benefits.

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