Internet Radio

Prime Minister orders NCN’s CEO to apologise to TV news anchor for suspending her newsreading because she is pregnant

NCN's Chief Executive Officer, Lennox Cornette in jacket, accompanied by Human Resources Manager, Tishika De Costa and Programme Manager, Ron Robinson meeting with the two Ministers responsible for Labour and other top officials of the Department of Labour.

NCN’s Chief Executive Officer, Lennox Cornette in jacket, accompanied by Human Resources Manager, Tishika Da Costa and Programme Manager, Ron Robinson meeting with the two Ministers responsible for Labour and other top officials of the Department of Labour.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Wednesday ordered the Chief Executive Officer of the National Communications Network (NCN), Lennox Cornette to apologise for using her pregnancy as the basis for removing her from anchoring the 6 O’clock news.

“It agonises me to get involved in what is an NCN management matter but, as a journalist and as a parent, I refuse to be silent on this occasion,” said Nagamootoo whose portfolio includes the state media.

Nagamootoo’s decision came one day after the state broadcaster’s Human Resources Manager, Tishika Da Costa apologised to Natasha Smith after a protest by executive members of the Guyana Press Association (GPA) and other outraged persons.

The Prime Minister’s announcement also followed a meeting between Cornette andDos Santos on the one hand and the Minister responsible for Labour, Volda Lawrence, Junior Minister responsible for Labour, Keith Scott and Chief Occupational Safety and Health Officer, Charles Ogle on the other.

Sources said the Labour Ministry’s team appeared convinced that Smith was not removed from the TV news set because of her pregnancy. While the minutes of a management meeting seen by the GPA’s executive did not refer specifically to “pregnancy”, it referred to her “condition.”

Earlier Wednesday, top officials of the Labour Department also told several employers in the city that, among other things, it is illegal to use pregnancy or related conditions as a reason for taking action against workers.

“Employers were also cautioned against practices of unfair dismissal, which according to the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act of 1997  constitutes dismissal based on an employee’s… pregnancy or a reason connected with an employee’s pregnancy…”

Following is the full text of Prime Minister Nagamootoo’s statement.

I have advised the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Communications Network (NCN) to tender an unqualified apology to Ms. Natasha Smith for using her pregnancy as reason to remove her temporarily as News Anchor.

From information received and explanations given by the CEO, I am in no doubt that the removal of Ms. Smith was due to her state of pregnancy, and that the act is an attack on her as a woman and as a professional journalist.

I do not condone any such act and disassociate myself from the action in this matter by NCN.

Our coalition government stands for full equality of our women and their right to work or association must not be denied or in any way trampled by their free choice to be married or to remain single, or to bear or not to bear children.

I applaud all those bodies and individuals who came forward in condemnation of this act of discrimination against Ms. Smith who has earned respect for her professional presentation of the NCN News.

It agonises me to get involved in what is an NCN management matter but, as a journalist and as a parent, I refuse to be silent on this occasion.

 

  • ExPPP_Man

    After more than a year in office, Post Office Minister did something to earn the huge salary he does not deserve.

    • rudeo

      ha ha ha ha

  • rs dasai

    As the PM said, he should not meddle in management matters. Why did he? And to do it publicly to embarrass the CEO?

    • Col123

      For his kind kind of salary, and ego, and Armani suit… It is the right thing for him to do…the guy is the PM…he can make and break the rules

      • rs dasai

        Col
        I thought that the ‘break and make’ was reserved for the Prezzzi only.

        • Col123

          The Pres is on R&R until 2020..his job is to show up once a month and give a speech on party ideology , unity govt and sucker punch Jaggie…the laws are in the hands of the boys…

          • rs dasai

            Col.
            The Prezzi may be on R & R , but he is kept informed of what happens in GY. And , Col, The Prezzi is not there to solve ‘our’ problems. He has much to deal with and not much with which to use in dealing with them.

  • ordered! advised! or suggested.

  • Col123

    My friend Naggie has a lot of potential …I keep saying that over and over….. Naggie serves as a useful jockstrap for Harmon …who keeps putting the pressure on to make him irrelevant …The dahl belly guy gets his daily exercise bowing to any phallic . He is on the job at least now ordering some lunatic around as his hearing is impaired from that siren he toots every day….as the main govt journalist, the poor chap can’t listen anymore to those rice farmers and sugar workers because of the damage to his ear from those sirens.

  • Col123

    Jeeze…Canadians are wealthy and smart….all the money they stole from Guyana?…you know what they say about a smarty and his money?..I thought those rice farmers leased their lands!

  • Col123

    Change is good…I don’t mind jingling it in my pocket…cent, five cent,ten cent ..dollah..cent, five cent, ten cent..dollah.