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Channel 4 employees receive no salaries since February

20.07.2022, 13:13
Photo: Channel 4
Photo: Channel 4

Channel 4 journalists have not been paid and have no access to the TV channel's office since receiving minor payments in February, Detector Media reports.

According to the newspaper, in the five months since the beginning of the big war, some of the employees have resigned, some went to serve in the army, but most remain full-time employees of Channel 4.

After minor payments in February, none of the employees received any money; the channel also owes the state millions of hryvnias for broadcasting. In March, the channel began rebroadcasting the joint telethon "United News" and continues to do so to this day.

Currently, the team does not have access to the office of the TV channel – people cannot even get to their workplaces to collect their things.

According to the publication, a few months ago the employees discussed the idea of ​​taking away or selling the channel's property that remained in the office, in order to pay off at least part of the debts, but the lawyers advised against doing this, as it is illegal.

Now the channel is broadcasting the telethon, but has no way to earn money to settle their debts to the staff and the state.

The channel's journalists recalled that after the broadcaster was purchased by collaborator deputy Oleksiy Kovalyov, former "Ukraina" channel journalist Yana Ishchenko became the new head of Channel 4.

The editorial policy has not changed, although, by Kovalyov's decision, cooperation with presenters Boryslav Bereza, Ostap Drozdov, and Anton Mukharsky has ceased. The presenters associated this with their critical stance towards the authorities.

With the arrival of the new producer general, the amount of broadcasts and the workload of Channel 4 employees increased, but the salaries did not.

Channel 4 editor Kateryna Bychikhina told the publication that there were many weekends in January, and the channel was effectively working off previously recorded content.

"To say that we were overworking is an understatement. Yana Ishchenko could text at 2 a.m. and say that we should be at the office by 6 a.m. We worked twenty hours a day and practically lived at the channel," she said.

At that time, the channel had about two hundred full-time employees, and Yana Ishchenko brought in a few more.

On February 24, when the russian full-scale invasion began, Channel 4 employees asked Yana Ishchenko in the group chat whether they should come to the office. According to Kateryna, she did not reply; the team decided to go to work.

"Some of our colleagues live in Hostomel, Irpin and Bucha. After leaving for work, they never got back home. And many of them have no homes left. Until lunchtime, we were broadcasting despite the explosions, but Yana never got in touch," Kateryna said.

Later, receiving the employees' questions about salaries, Yana Ishchenko replied that she had neither money nor responsibility to pay them. And in the end, according to Kateryna Bychikhina, she went off the radar completely.

The publication contacted Yana Ishchenko, she replied that she no longer worked at the channel and advised to contact the director.

As IMI reported, at the end of December 2021, it became known that Oleksiy Kovalyov bought Channel 4.

On June 8, Kovalyov admitted that he was cooperating with the russian invaders and supported the occupation of Kherson region by russia. On the same day, the SBI announced the opening of criminal proceedings against Kovalyov for collaborationist activities.

On July 6, Kovalyov was charged with treason and aiding the aggressor state. He exported products from Kherson region to Crimea, imported fuel and lubricants from there for the aggressor army, and provided his sanatorium in Holya Prystan to the occupying troops for accomodation. On July 15, Kovalyov was sentenced to custody without bail and declared wanted. The court seized Kovalyov's property for confiscation in favor of the state.

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