Dubai: Employees at popular local Malayalam TV station, Channel D, have been left in the lurch after its Indian owner and finance head allegedly fled the country without paying several months of outstanding salaries.
A senior staff at Channel D said the company had been struggling to keep the TV station afloat in the face of mounting losses.
“We had not been paid for months but in the hope of a turnaround the dozen odd staffers lumbered on. Nobody expected the end to come so soon,” he said.
The TV station’s office on 2nd December street in Jumeirah 1 remains shut but the channel is still on air.
“They are running repeats of old shows. But even that is likely to stop when their contract with Etisalat expires this month end,” he said.
A cameraman, who claims the company owes him seven months salary arrears, said he was repeatedly assured that their dues would be settled.
“We were told that a new investor has come on board and that he will take care of all our liabilities. We believed them. But now it appears that the company never had any intention to pay us,” he said.
Access control, telephones deactivated
Fingerprint door access control of staffers was deactivated in March this year while telephone lines were disconnected a month earlier.
“These were obvious red flags but we didn’t suspect anything amiss because we trusted the owner,” said another staffer
Launched around two years ago, Channel D had two live shows daily. It also had a unit in Kochi, India but that too has reportedly shut down.
A response from Channel D’s owner and finance head was not readily available.
Messages sent to them from Gulf News remain unanswered.