NLC seeks minimum wage for journalists - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, May 27, 2024

NLC seeks minimum wage for journalists


The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has hinted at plans to work with media stakeholders to negotiate a uniform salary template for practicing journalists in the country.

The NLC also frowned at the arbitrary 'abduction' and detention of journalists by security agents, warning that such is not acceptable in democracy.

This is as Labour movement has called for immediate inclusion of workers and employers' representatives in the governing structures of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC). 

Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the national headquarters of the National Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Abuja, the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero said that journalists have continued to suffer neglect despite the risks associated with their job and sacrifices they make in nation building.

He noted with dismay that journalists fight for others, while nobody fights them, stressing that the issue of insurance should be taken seriously because of the risk involved in the profession.

He said that journalists were deeply involved in the fight for the restoration of the current democratic dispensation. 

According to him, "Unlike those days when journalists will running from one business centre to the other to send stories, today technology has made things easier. 

"But beyond that the welfare of journalists is being neglected, as journalists we advocate for everybody but nobody for us . 

"We fight for others and not for ourselves. There are media houses that have not paid salaries for almost one year. I think we should all meet and talk to ourselves. 

"I am advocating for a consultative machinery that will even it is every two years to negotiate with all media employers in the country a minimum wage or industry salary benchmark for journalists".. 

Ajaero said this benchmark can be further classified into those employed by the federal government, states and the private sector.

He said that journalists are now like and endangered species. 

According to him, despite the new technology, the practice of journalism in Nigeria is getting worse in terms of security and welfare. 

He appealed to the NUJ to join hands with the labour movement to seek ways of resolving the challenges facing  journalists.

Ajaero who described NUJ as his union lamented that journalists are in a peculiar situation when it comes to the issue of welfare because no one negotiates for them. 

The NLC boss further deplored the manner in which NUJ was moved from its former office in the nation's capital. 

He said that effort should be made to recover the former premises.

He said that the NLC will like to work with the NUJ leadership to see what can be done to proffer solutions for the problems and challenges bedeviling the industry.

Speaking on.the treatment recently being meted to journalists by security agents, Ajaero said that the freedom of the press should not be hindered in any form by the government.

He said that where a journalist runs foul of the law, he should be prosecuted according to the law not kidnapped.

While welcoming the NLC president and his delegation, the NUJ national president, Mr. Chris Isiguzo thanked Ajaero for identifying some of the key challenges of the media profession in Nigeria.

He spoke about the issue of regulation of the media profession especially the manner online media organs spring up and the hatchet job some of them try to do.

Isiguzo said that the NUJ is proposing the setting up of the National Ombudsman for the media to regulate the practice as well as look into issues of poor remuneration that is bedeviling the sector.

He said that NUJ has also proposed an accompanying Bill of Rights to protect the rights, welfare and interests of practicing journalists.

Isiguzo also said that organised labour should find a way of carrying the interest of journalists along whenever they are protesting worker's welfare.

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