Khaleej Times enters another phase of anxiety, as old employees cry foul
By Staff Reporter
A dark cloud hangs over Khaleej Times, where the axe of vengeance is descending on necks of old employees every passing day. No word!!! staff there say, can accurately depict the anxiety wracking them as no one seems to know what the next minute portend. When Khaleej Times made editorial and management changes early last year, the owners gave them a freehand with the financial transaction to reform and give the newspaper a facelift.
There was enough cash available then, to pay the old staffers a decent pay, instead the newly appointed editorial team led by Mr. Rahul Sharma, Mr. Ovais Subhani and their associates, have totally siphoned the Khaleej Times coffer, paying out hefty salaries to unprofessional and unqualified editorial staff, distributing hi-tech mobile devices such as the ‘blackberry’ (only to the chosen few), expensive laptops, unlimited cell phone airtime, car maintenance allowances (besides the hefty salary), fuel allowances, spending huge sums of money in terms of accommodating newly recruited overseas staff, in the most expensive hotels in Dubai for months, bringing into the UAE, close friends and relatives from abroad, under the pretext of providing training or introducing new system/software to the organisation, dining and wining with close friends and associates and the list remains endless. All these expenses are uncalled for and were more than sufficient to upgrade the salaries of old staff who are very poorly paid and are at the same time overworked.
Those with handsome packages come to the office late but leave much before time, while the old employees are left watching them leave office, having done no work at all the whole day, most of them are online chatting with friends, or watching a clip of porno stuff.
The issue of the Hays’ Report (which was approved by the previous management) has gradually remained unanswered to date, the old employees were promised a payrise, but this was never implemented instead they were recently given a small bonus to remain silent . Under stern instructions of the new management they were informed that from next year, bonus will only be given to those whose performance can be judged. So who would be the ones to qualify for these bonuses, as the old employees are indiscriminately being done away with under the pretext of low performance in their duties, yet these are the same people who have worked for the company and have seen the growth of Khaleej Times, from its infancy to its present 31 years of existence. Of course, the newly recruited team of unprofessionals who already earn hefty salaries, will eventual be the beneficiaries of the bonus, if that is what others want to know.
The employees are also wondering how a senior editor has twice gone on annual leave in less than a year of his employment, besides the sick leave he took, after fracturing his leg in a drinking spree in one of Dubai’s nightclub, (all medical expenses borne by the company), claiming to have missed a step, outside the parking bay, while leaving the office.
The associate editor travelled immediately after being engaged at Khaleej Times in June last year, and most recently to be with his family during Easter holidays. Expenses including fare etc allegedly paid out from the company’s coffers!!! ???????
Another wasteful resource is hiring of one Pankaj Paul, who was Mr. Sharma’s immediate superior at the Hindustan Times in New Delhi. He was recently brought in to update the DTI software and design, yet he already has a teaching job at the knowledge village and earns a salary at KT. As if that is not enough, the new management created employment for a Narendra Jha, who was also a one time boss of Mr. Sharma and was recently tarmacking the streets of India without employment; he was thus rewarded with the post of associate editor. No one knows the reason, why 2 associate editors for KT???
Sad to say, that employees earning as little as AED 2000 a month are sacked indiscriminately, whereas those earning AED 15, 000 and above, with no performance at all, are still maintained by the organisation. If its recession, the terminations should be done the other way round, the one earning the highest should be dismissed first, not someone who is living from hand to mouth. Where is the logic in this case, if the CEO claims that at this time of recession, the company has to look for means and ways to cut cost, he better start cutting cost with those earning hefty salaries?
The employees are also questioning how the editorial management have earmarked a particular junior research female staff (with no media background) and who has hardly been in the company for a year, has thrice made overseas trips, while another trip is still in the pipeline, yet there are many reporters who are better qualified and could have travelled to these destinations, and done justice to the sponsors of such trips.
It is time the rightful owners of Khaleej Times moved in rapidly to stop the unwarranted expenditures and make this syndicate pay for lavishly misusing the company funds, for personal gains, before the organisation is declared bankrupt. Stern action should be taken against them and they should be dismissed with immediate effect.