Workers of the Daily Independent Newspapers Limited situated in Block 5,Plot 7D Wempco Road, Ogba-Lagos, on Thursday 8, October, began a display of grievance by locking up the organisation’s main gate in protest of about two years salary not paid by the management.
News of The People went to confirm the situation and saw the staff hanging outside the locked gate with a placard bearing “DAILY INDEPENDENT IS ON STRIKE FOR NON PAYMENT OF 22 MONTHS BACKLOG SALARIES, NON REMITTANCE OF TAX, NON REMITTANCE OF PENCOM(PESION FUND), EMBEZZLEMENT OF WORKERS’ CO-OPERATIVE MONEY, PAY OUR DEAD COLLEAGUES’ MONEY” placed in front of the gate and were seen denying every other person entry into the building.
Speaking with the Daily Independent Newspapers union chairman, Mr, Nwachukwu Emmanuel, our correspondent gathered that the union has been on the matter for a long time but the management always found a way to suppress their agitation.
“Before this matter gets to this level, there have been varies of letters sent to the management”.Nwachukwu said
” The Editor should answer the question that what has the management been doing before the union embarked on this action or do they (union) just woke up and went on strike without notification, without dialoging with the management?” He asked.
He disclosed that instead of adding 6.5precent to their salary as a management, taxes were been deducted from their salary without given them any clearance to show for it and some unnecessary deductions.
Nwachukwu also mentioned that a staff named Mr, Eyon Efihong, who has experienced tax deduction for eight years he has been working with no evidence, had to pay for tax with money curved out from his pocket to secure a tax clearance before his child could be admitted in to school.
Mr Eyon Efihong, showing the bank teller of the tax he paid to ensure his child was admitted in school to News of The People, revealed that he was initially given a fake clearance by the management.
The Union chairman, describing the management as toothless bull-dog, disclosed that the management comprises 10 members, but other nine members are submissive to Ted Iwere, the Managing Direct who attends the managerial meeting whenever he pleases and has the final decision.
Nwachukwu further said that the MD had once threatened to sue them ( the union) if they failed to withdraw the statement contained in a complaint letter they once forwarded to the Board chairman of the organization, Alahji Gambo Lawal that led to the MD’s quarry.
Speaking defensively, Nwachukwu said all the offices were locked up to prevent any form of theft accusation after the protest.
The Union chairman, however, insisted that the issue be attended to and resolved before the gate would be re-opened.
The News paper’s editor, Mr, Kingslay Ighomwenghiah, who was seen addressing the aggrieved staff describing their action as taking over another person’s property which is a criminal offence, refused to speak with News of The People.
Nwachukwu said he (Kingsley) refused to speak for the fear of Ted Iwere and the fear of been sacked.
News of The People was given a copy of a press release with National Union Printing, Publishing and Paper Product Workers, NUPPPPW, letter-head paper dated on October 6.
Included in the press release was the fact that the management lack workers welfare which has led to the death of over 10 staff due to no official medical services for the workers and absence of soft financial relieve for the workers.