Media Prima job cuts: Affected employees to receive job outplacement, career counseling services

Media Prima posted a net loss of RM8.83 million in Q2 2019. — Picture courtesy of Google Maps
Media Prima posted a net loss of RM8.83 million in Q2 2019. — Picture courtesy of Google Maps

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — In light of the recent announcement of a corporate restructuring, Media Prima Berhad and the workers’ unions in the company today said employees affected by the decision would be given job outplacement services and career counseling.

They also reiterated the company’s previous pledge for fair and equitable compensation, adding that all parties have reached an agreement on the said matter, which would be observed according to the law and the respective union Collective Agreements (CA).

“Media Prima Berhad and officers from the respective unions, namely, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) NSTP Branch, National Union of Newspaper Workers (NUNW) NSTP Branch, Kesatuan Sekerja Kakitangan Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad (KSKSTMB), and Kesatuan Eksekutif Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad (KESTMB), are working closely on the execution of the business transformation plan announced by the Group on 1 November 2019.

“This is to ensure that the process is transparent and all obligations to affected employees are given the utmost priority. All parties have reached an understanding that a fair and equitable compensation governed by the law and the respective union Collective Agreements will be adhered to.  

“Media Prima had announced earlier that it will embark on the next phase of its business transformation plan. This includes changing its business model and restructuring internally to enable the group to be future-proof and sustainable, given the uncertain macroeconomic conditions and disruptive changes in the global and local media sector,” the statement read.

Early this month, in a statement, the media giant said that the move will be completed by the first quarter of next year.

On November 1, financial paper The Edge reported that a meeting among heads of departments was called in the afternoon to discuss the outcome of a board of director’s meeting earlier that day.

This came amid rumours that as many as one-third of its staff were to be retrenched.

As a result, its shares fell to 35 sen per unit at market closing that day, the lowest since June this year.

On October 9, it was reported that Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd, linked to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, had gained close to one-third of its stake.

Last year, its subsidiary and TV3 station operator, Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd, retrenched 190 employees by giving them three months’ notice, while mutual separation schemes were offered to 43 others.

In the second quarter of the year, Media Prima posted a net loss of RM8.83 million, as traditional revenue segments, including publishing and television networks, have seen lower contributions.

It has seen a string of quarterly losses since the third quarter of 2016, with the exception of the fourth quarter of that year, and the second and fourth quarter of 2018.

Media Prima owns the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, with the newspapers New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro under it, as well as four television channels, TV3, NTV7, 8TV and TV9.

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