QUITO, Dec 5 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador’s newspaper El Comercio has ceased publication for the third day in a row today due to an economic crisis, including non-payment of its employees, which is considered a labor rights violation.
The Andean Foundation for the Observation and Study of the Media (Fundamedios) confirmed on Twitter that the newsroom of the newspaper, founded in 1906, had been absent for three months due to delayed salaries.
Hundreds of employees, retired and dismissed, are demanding that the media comply with its obligations and last week they asked the ombudsman’s office to issue a measure requiring the administration to back wages.
Although the newspaper’s digital edition operated normally in recent days, staff spokesman Paul Jaramillo told the Equavisa channel that many people used up their resources to keep the medium running.
According to Jaramillo, the president of El Comercio explained to him that he had debts with suppliers since 2018 and could not guarantee his wages.
Meanwhile, workers demand inaction from the labor ministry, whose head Patricio Donoso appealed for “sensitivity” of employers to resolve labor rights violations by a private company.
Fundamedios, said to be one of the oldest newspapers in the country, in 2015 became the property of Mexican angel Remigio González, owner of television and radio channels with national, regional and local coverage.
For Orlando Pérez, three-time winner of the National Journalism Award, the owners, board of directors and shareholders of El Comercio violate labor and tax laws, while the government of President Guillermo Lasso, the “defender of freedom of expression” and the “free” press Doesn’t do anything.