No going back on planned warning strike, says Kwara media workers

Nedu Okorie 2023-12-18 0

Workers under the auspices of various labour unions in Kwara State-owned media have insisted on proceeding on warning strike effective from tomorrow (Tuesday).

To this end, the unions set up monitoring and compliance teams that would man each of the state-owned media houses from tomorrow morning.

The industrial action was sequel to the resolution of the joint emergency congress of each union in Kwara State Printing and Publishing Corporation (The Herald Newspapers), Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Kwara), Kwara State Television Authority (Kwara TV) and Kwara State Arts and Culture arising from the inability of the state government to immediately implement some of the demands of the unions.

The unions included National Union of Paper Products, Printing and Publishing Workers (NUPPPROW), Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Rising from the joint emergency congress held in Ilorin today, the unions said the strike action, which will hold between tomorrow and Wednesday, was due to the failure of the state government to treat state-owned media workers and cultural workers as essential workers in the state employment.

The unions said the warning strike became necessary on account of the inability of the state government to accede to their demands for the implementation of 100 percent essential allowance for them.

In an earlier notice of warning strike issued in Ilorin, the unions called for an immediate revision of the weigh-in allowance to be at per with minimum wage of ₦30,000 and a 27 percent increment based on grade level, which has not been implemented.

Some of the issues leading to the industrial action in the state-owned media outfits include non-implementation of the 2021 and 2022 promotion exercises, inability to overhaul equipment and facilities in the media houses in spite of repeated appeal, annual increment anomalies and stagnation in career progression, which has unjustly restricted workers in Radio Kwara and Kwara TV to Level 16 Cadre as the peak of their career in the civil service.

The aggrieved media workers are also protesting the imposition of junior officers as Corporation Secretaries and Controllers of Finance and Supply (CFAs) on the state-owned media houses, who are often deployed from the office of the state Head of Service and Ministry of Finance respectively without taking cognizance of the global best practices.

It would be recalled that the unions held a meeting with the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Prince Mahe Abdulkadir-led state government negotiation team on Sunday where it appealed that the warning strike be shelved.

But the unions said at the meeting that they can’t act independent of the congresses of each union.