JSL says 16% compensation to sacked media staff just first instalment

JSL says 16% compensation to sacked media staff just first instalment

Prominent lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan (second from right) leads 79 sacked employees of JSL Global Media to file a complaint with officials at the Bangkok Labour Protection and Welfare Office Region 4 on Monday, for alleged unfair compensation. (Photo:@dechalaw Facebook page)
Prominent lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan (second from right) leads 79 sacked employees of JSL Global Media to file a complaint with officials at the Bangkok Labour Protection and Welfare Office Region 4 on Monday, for alleged unfair compensation. (Photo:@dechalaw Facebook page)

Struggling TV content provider JSL Global Media on Tuesday hastened to clarify its intention to pay full compensation due to employees who were abruptly laid off with only 16% of payments legally due them.

The company said it intended to pay the full severance amount required by law. Its offer of 16% was just a first instalment to ease the hardship of 89 employees who were suddenly sacked on Friday, of a total workforce of 130.

The company broke its silence after Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin stepped in on Monday and promised assistance for employees who were laid off without fair compensation.

The plight of the sacked workers grabbed news headlines after 37 of them turned to celebrity lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan for help on Sunday. They said that DSL mangement told them it would pay only 16% of the financial compensation they were entitled to under the labour law.

A total of 89 workers were sacked on Friday, when JSL announced it would partially shut down its business from July 1.

According to workers' representatives, JSL was supposed to pay them about 31 million baht in total, but told them it had only 5 million baht  and they would receive only 16% of the due financial compensation.  Some employees were seen crying when speaking about the poor payout on Sunday.

Of the 89 sacked employees, 10 had signed in acceptance while 79 staff refused, they said. 

JSL on Tuesday issued a statement in Thai on its Facebook page: “The company is not sitting idle over  financial compensation for affected employees and intends to pay the full amount under the law. Due to sudden liquidity problems, the firm could not find money to pay compensation in time on June 30. Therefore, it was necessary for the firm to tell the employees the facts about the percentage of the compensation payment that it was able to pay to them on that day. The company had tried various means to find money to pay as much as money and as fast as it could, because it understood the grievances of all employees,’’ the statement said.

JSL said the total amount of financial compensation due laid-off staff was about 32 million baht, and it told the employees that it would pay 16% of the compensation, or about 5 million baht, on the day it shut down the business.

It had told employees they would get the payment of 16% first, to alleviate immediate hardship. By the end of July, it would pay another 9%, or 25% in total.  At the end of every following month it would find money to pay them as much compensation as it could.

“The company is willing to hold talks to reach a resolution in accordance with the labour law. We want to seek the cooperation of all employees for talks, in a bid to reach a joint conclusion so that we will move forward and have no grudges against one another. The firm has never had any intention to abandon its responsibility towards its employees. But the tough situation made it hard for the firm to move ahead, resulting in this incident [laying off staff] that affected the morale and spirit of the employees. We do hope that our sincerity and mutual cooperation will help us sail through this obstacle,’’ the statement said.

Seventy-nine of the laid-off employees of JSL Global Media, led by lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan, file a complaint with a senior official at the Bangkok Labour Protection and Welfare Office Region 4 against the media firm JSL Global for payment of unfair compensation on Monday. (Photo:@dechalaw Facebook)


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