Journalists were sent a memo by company bosses on 30 April imposing cuts of between 40% and 60% as a result of “extremely difficult market conditions” caused by the Coronavirus crisis. The company, publishers of New Vision and Kampala Sun among other titles, said the “stiff measures” were necessary to “keep the business viable”.
But members of the UJU say workers already earn low pay and these cuts will cause enormous hardship just at a time when citizens are turning to the group’s papers and websites for news.
One female journalist told the IFJ: “The majority of journalists already live on a shoestring budget. The salary we earn largely goes to rent, transport, lunch and supporting extended families so cutting salaries at this time will send people into depression, mental breakdowns and even domestic violence. Many are in shock and wondering how we are going to live in this already difficult situation”.
The UJU has referred the cuts to its lawyers.