New Telegraph

NLC Seeks New Minimum Wage For Journalists

…says despite risks, nobody fights for journalists

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has said there was a need to engage with the management and owners of media outlets in Nigeria, to negotiate a uniform salary template for practising journalists in the country.

President of the NLC, President Joe Ajaero who made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to the national headquarters of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Monday in Abuja, lamented that despite the risks associated with their job and sacrifices made to nation building, journalists have continued to suffer neglect.

According to him, the benchmark for salaries to be paid to media practitioners could be further classified into those employed by the federal government, states and the private sector.

He said: “Unlike those days when journalists ran 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.”

Speaking further, Ajaero who noted that despite the new technology, the practice of journalism in Nigeria was getting worse in terms of security and welfare, frowned at the arbitrary ‘abduction’ and detention of journalists by security agents,

Describing journalists as an endangered species, the NLC President appealed to the NUJ to join hands with the labour movement to seek ways of resolving the challenges facing journalists, as the NLC was committed to working with the NUJ leadership to proffer solutions for the problems and challenges bedevilling the industry.

The NUJ national president, Mr Chris Isiguzo who thanked Ajaero for identifying some of the key challenges of the media profession in Nigeria, raised concerns over the poor regulation of the media profession in Nigeria, especially some of the online media organs which he accused of carrying out “hatchet jobs”

He urged the NLC and its sister labour movement, the Trade Union Congress Union of Nigeria (TUC), to find a way of carrying the interest of journalists along whenever they were protesting worker’s welfare.

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