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Journalist leaves television station saying he was subjected to pressure tactics

(FUNDAMEDIOS/IFEX) - On 16 August 2010, Fausto Validiviezo, a journalist for TC Televisión (which has been managed by the state since it was seized on 8 July 2008), resigned from his position after being pressured by the station's executives owing to his stance against the sale of 30% of the station's shares to its employees.

Valdiviezo told FUNDAMEDIOS that after the arrival of the current administrator, Carlos Coello, he was removed from the position of news presenter and was assigned the tasks of a reporter. He said he was not allowed to cover live events because "they did not want to risk the possibility that I might say something that could affect them."

According to Valdiviezo, another reason for his resignation was the harsh criticisms of President Rafael Correa regarding his continued employment by the station. During his regular Saturday broadcast on 10 July, Correa said, "There's a disruptive little dwarf around (. . .) and I don't know why he has not been let go, he is a bad apple."

The journalist said Coello told him he should resign from the television station because they were not going to fire him. As a result of this, Valdiviezo filed a lawsuit before the Guayaquil Second Labour Court alleging that legal due process had not been followed during the time he had worked for the station. The journalist dropped the suit after reaching an agreement with the company according to which he would receive the compensation owed to a worker after a wrongful dismissal.

Valdiviezo was the secretary of the TC Televisión workers' committee. He said he had defended the station's employees' labour rights and that on many occasions he had expressed his point of view about the television station's obligations to its employees. His main disagreement with the company was about the sale of 30% of its shares to the station's workers. He believed this was not enough as the workers would constitute minority shareholders.

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