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“Express” staff complains to Labor Inspectorate on overdue salaries

19:41 | 17.04.2015 | Society

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Penza, 17 April 2015. PenzaNews. 35 employees of the broadcasting company “Express” signed a collective statement addressed to the State Labor Inspectorate (SLI) on the company’s refusal to pay salaries, Natalia Ilyina, editor of the Penza broadcasting company “Express,” told PenzaNews agency on Friday, April 17.

“Express” staff complains to Labor Inspectorate on overdue salaries

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She added that SLI received several individual statements, including one from her personally.

“The situation is unfavorable, as both the media and its employees suffer from it. Recently the situation only grew worse: the majority of employees cannot get their salaries at all. For example, the company owes me two months worth of salary. My attempts to resolve the issue in a peaceful manner ended up in a failure. They refused to pay me, saying they had no money,” the agency interlocutor explained.

According to Natalia Ilyina, Stepan Parfenov, new head of TRBC “Express,” explains all his actions by citing orders “received from above.”

“We all know who broadcasting company ‘Express’ belongs to. Who could have given such orders? The very top? This is a good question. This means he is trying to protect his reputation by hiding behind the top person’s name. I am not sure whether it is true or false, but that is what we have,” the editor noted.

Natalia Ilyina explained that in order to protect her rights, she also applied to the prosecutor’s office and, just like several other company employees, is ready to take it to the court.

“He fears nothing, our new head. He believes that he will be protected and these claims will be stopped before the court. But the worst thing about it is not the collapse of the media holding – and it is collapsing, because the programs are closing down. He [Stepan Parfenov] actually wants to fully annihilate the creative base of the company and only air reruns of creator-owned programs and morning shows, thus saving the money. This is wrong, this is not how it should be. But even that the team could accept for a while, but they will not tolerate it when their labor rights are violated so blatantly. Speaking about myself: I have a daughter, and I am a single mother. This job is my only source of income – I have received no money for two months already. As of today, I am officially on a vacation – I have no vacation money, I did not receive a single ruble. I believe it is time that the man [Stepan Parfenov] realized what policy he chose at the beginning of his ‘glorious deeds’,” she said.

According to Natalia Ilyina, the broadcasting company has the money, and it keeps coming from the advertising, but “they are not willing to give it to people for some reason.”

She said that the wages are not paid to the employees of TV channel “Express,” which is the core of the media holding structure, while the employees of the radio and Internet projects receive the money regularly.

“As our acting CEO said, ‘I’ll pay you one thousand rubles every week and that is it’,” the broadcasting company editor added.

Answering the question of PenzaNews agency about what programs to be closed by now, she explained that these are the following: “Upgrade,” as well as a number of programs in “Morning on Express,” which will be rerun the next week.

“They are still discussing the closure of the program, which will also be rerun: ‘The Small Realm.’ That is how it is for now. [...] The author-owned programs are just thrown away without any care,” the speaker said.

She noted that even with possible financial difficulties, it is unacceptable not to pay wages to the staff.

“Even if the company is bankrupt, the basic payments are made in favor of employees in the first place, and then all the current debts. And as of today, the situation is that advertising takes place, and the money influx from this activity is stable,” the broadcasting company “Express” editor stressed.

“I want to tell the public about the iniquity of the new head [Stepan Parfenov], because the Russian Constitution provides no free labor. We are not slaves. And it is outrageous to set some conditions for the wage payment or not to pay us the money we have earned – and these are earned money. [...] I have been working in ‘Express’ since 1994. I watched it grow. I love the TV channel ‘Express.’ I love the people who work here, appreciate and respect them as true professionals, and it really hurts when one ignorant person destroys many years of great efforts,” Natalia Ilyina summed up.

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