By Victor Ahiuma- Young
LAGOS—MEMBERS of Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria, RATTAWU, and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, have directed all media and culture workers in government-owned radio and television stations to begin a 3-day warning strike from today to compel government yield to their demand for a better pay.
The strike which is jointly organised by RATTAWU and NUJ is to compel the government to implement an agreement reached with both unions since April that have not been fulfilled.
President of RATTAWU, Comrade Yemisi Bamgbose, who confirmed this development, said the warning strike must hold since government had refused to implement agreement reached with the workers early this year.
He said “RATTAWU and NUJ declared the three days warning strike starting from November 22 to November 24, 2010 because of non implementation of media/cultural salary structure by the government as reached in an agreement with the unions in April this year.”
He explained hat the “strike will affects all the activities of this year’s Abuja carnival since RATTAWU that controls the Council for Arts and Culture which produces 90 per cent of participants in NAFEST and Abuja Carnival has directed its members to boycott the events slated for this week in Abuja.”
Collaborating, RATTAWU’s General Secretary, Comrade Henry Odugala argued that “Nigeria is a member of the international community that seeks to acquire the status of a civilised state”, and called on the “Government to respect agreement reached with the workers for industrial harmony to be sustained in the country.
The agitations for Government to honour agreement reached with workers started on October 25, 2010 with a 14 day ultimatum and to date the workers have not even gotten any response from the Government. Since Government refuse to answer us, we the workers do not have the instrument of war but we have the instrument of morality and that is what we are operating with, hence the strike”