Distressed workers of ThisDay Newspapers on Tuesday gave its management till Friday to pay the backlog of several months of unpaid salaries or face a week warning strike.
The action will become indefinite if their demands are not met at the end of the warning strike strike action, the staff said.
In a letter to the newspaper’s publisher and Chairman, Leaders and Company, Nduka Obaigbena, the workers, mostly editorial staff in the Abuja Bureau Office, said the decision to declare a warning strike came with much pain.
Signatories to the notice include Tobi Soniyi, Olawale Ajimotokan, Patrick Ugeh, Senator Iroegbu, James Emejo, Omololu Ogunmade, Paul Obi, Ndubusi Francis, Dele Ogbodo, Damilola Oyedele, Chineme Okafor, Godwin Omoigui and Onyebuchi Ezigbo.
In the letter, the staff said, “For several years, we have sacrificed everything – emotionally, physically and materially – to ensure the continued survival of THISDAY, but regrettably, the organisation has demonstrated an abysmal disregard for these gestures.”
They said if by Friday the management of the company failed to pay their outstanding salaries running into several months, they would embark on a one-week strike from Sunday June 12 until June 19.
The chairman of the company, Nduka Obaigbena, could not be reached for comments. Multiple calls to his known telephone line failed to connect. He is also yet to respond to a text message sent to him.
In July last year, workers in the newspaper’s head office in Lagos, led by the Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Deji Elumoye, also a ThisDay Staff, carried out a similar action to protest the non-payment of their salaries and non-remittance of staff personal income tax, pension, cooperative deductions and check-off dues for over four years.
During the strike action, the entrances of the media organisation was barricaded and normal operations were disrupted..
Read full detail of the letter by the staff below.
“Having borne the brunt of Management’s non-payment of our salaries —- running into several months, we, the undersigned Editorial Staff of THISDAY Abuja, have come to the painful decision to declare a warning strike.
“Should the management fails to pay us by Friday, June 10, 2016, we will have no option than to embark on a one-week warning strike from Sunday June 12, 2016 until June 19, 2016.
“Please, note that an indefinite strike will ensue at the expiration of the warning strike.
“By this letter, we are putting the management on notice that effective Sunday June 12, 2016, we will cease to send stories to all THISDAY titles until our salary arrears are defrayed. In this case, we will supply stories to all the titles from now until Saturday June 11, 2016.
“For several years, we have sacrificed everything- emotionally, physically and materially to ensure the continued survival of THISDAY but regrettably, the organisation has demonstrated an abysmal disregard for these gestures.
“We need not state the obvious that virtually all of us here can no longer meet our obligations both to our families and other responsibilities.
“Thanking you for your urgent response.
1. Tobi Soniyi
2. Olawale Ajimotokan
3. Patrick Ugeh
4. Senator Iroegbu
5. James Emejo
6. Omololu Ogunmade
7. Paul Obi
8. Ndubusi Francis
9. Dele Ogbodo
10. Damilola Oyedele
11. Chineme Okafor
12. Godwin Omoigui
13. Onyebuchi Ezigbo