As of Tuesday, Asia Television Limited (ATV) remains unable to pay the salaries due to many employees for December and January. Workers are seeking help from the Labour Department and some are leaving their posts at the television station.
Most of the workers who are waiting to be paid have a monthly salary of over HK$20,000. ATV has paid those with lower wages, according to Apple Daily.
According to labour laws, if ATV fails to pay the wages one month after the deadline, it may be construed as an automatic dismissal of its workers. At least five workers from the news and productions departments have left ATV on this premise.
Speaking to Apple Daily, one worker said about the employees who are leaving, “It can’t be helped, it’s too ridiculous…”
The television station has been beset by financial problems in recent months.
As of Monday, ATV stopped the production and broadcast of “Good Morning Asia” and “News at 12:30.” It replaced the programmes with reruns of travel shows.
Lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan has urged workers to resign so that ATV will effectively shut down. He said that this is the best time to leave because most companies hire after the New Year holidays.
Ip Ka-po, former executive director of ATV, left the company in December after the deadline for November’s wages expired without wages being paid. He said he could not bear the legal consequences of the failure.
It is not known when ATV will be able to pay the employees what they are owed in wages.
ATV’s licence is due to expire on April 1. It will no longer be able to broadcast after that date.