Press Release – Apostolic Vicariate of San Miguel de Sucumbios

 

On Wednesday, May 11th in Quito, the Administration of the Vicariate had a meeting with Bishop Ángel Polivio Sánchez, Bishop of Guaranda, secretary of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference and Pontifical Delegate for the Apostolic Vicariate of San Miguel Sucumbíos. In this meeting the painful economic situation that the Vicariate is in was discussed, and the critical situation of “Radio Sucumbíos”, which legally belongs to the Catholic Church in Sucumbíos.
The lack of means to continue to maintain about 20 employees of Radio Sucumbíos that costs just over $12,000 (USD) per month. The lack of income from the radio itself to maintain them has forced a series of administrative measures to be taken. Indeed, in 2010 the Radio ended with a deficit of $27,000 (USD) and a labour lawsuit that has persisted since the previous administration of $28,000(USD). The outlook for 2011 is that there will be a $80,000 (USD) deficit.
The main concern of the administration of the Vicariate was that there would be no interruption in the activities by the Radio station, given the important role that has always played in favour of the locals. And the only way to keep the Radio station is to reduce staff, replacing employees with volunteers.

Consequently, the administration of the Vicariate of Sucumbíos proceeded today to personally deliver a memorandum to dismiss the employees of the Radio station. Despite peacefully expressing the situation, some have not to adhere to this decision and have called a few supporters who have illegally moved to invade the Radio station and evict the representatives of the Vicariate by means of physical and verbal attacks.

The way the Administration acted was according to local laws since the dismissal the legal representative, Bishop Angel Polivio Sanchez, had signed letters. Outstanding wages from the month of April were completely compensated, and those dismissed were offered a cheque in settlement, according to the guidelines determined by the Ministry of Labour inspectors. 

Yet, the employees not only refused to sign the dismissal, but alleged illegality of the procedure, and even rejected the same cheques that were offered.

The Vicariate Administration is now seeking the total compliance of the law. The aim of the new administration is to keep the Radio Station with all the social support made through volunteers, religious and less employees, this way seems to be a more viable route through the economic point of view.

 

Nueva Loja, May 16, 2011