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NAN on strike over poor welfare


Staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) protest against alleged poor conditions of service and non-payment of their allowances in front of the agency headquarters on Thursday, July 26, 2018. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

The staff of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Wednesday, embarked on a three-day warning strike over poor welfare.

The three days strike started at the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum issued by the agency’s three unions – Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Almagamated Union of Civil Service Public Coporation, Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUCPTRE) and Radio Television, Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) – to the management of the agency to press home the demands.

“The union demands include: implementation of Condition of Service that was the last review 16 years ago, Payment of Promotion Arrears for 2012, and 2017 and payment of shortfall of promotion arrears of 2014, 2015and 2016,” in a statement signed by the three unions leaders, Yetunde Bada(NUJ), Suleiman Haruna(AUCPTRE), Daniel Akphiare (RATTAWU),” a joint committee of the unions said in a statement on Thursday.

“Payment of DTA and hotel allowances to staff that left their base to write the 2018 Promotion Examination in Lagos and Abuja and payment of repatriation allowances of foreign correspondents.”

The agency’s staff had threatened to go on strike last September over the negligence of their welfare by the management.

The union issued a 21-day strike over NAN’s refusal to sign the draft Conditions of Service for the agency, full payment of transfer allowance to 20 members of staff and rejection of the uniform editorial promotion examination for Level 8 to Level 16.

The Managing Director of NAN, Bayo Onanuga, while reacting to the union demands in 2016 said Nigerian government was doing a lot of favour to NAN by paying salaries of staff and he will only work with competent writers who can stand on their own anywhere in the world.

“I am ashamed as a journalist that the NUJ will be pushing that management should promote journalists, who cannot write good English or just simply incompetent.”

“My position is that our job is like that of doctors and nurses and I have always asked staff to imagine a situation where we have killer doctors and killer nurses in our hospitals. Just think of the consequences of having toxic journalists in the newsroom.’’

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