From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
In compliance with the directive by its national executive committee for all electronic media, especially those owned by federal and state governments, officials of Radio and Television, Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU) yesterday, shut down broadcasting stations in Kaduna.
At the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) zonal office, along Independence Way, the main gate leading to the premises was padlocked with a chain.
The Chapel chairman of FRCN, Malam Abubakar Lawal Dutsinma said their action is in line with the national directive from the union and they will continue until their demands are met.
The premise of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), which is adjacent to the FRCN is also under lock. The presence of soldiers and armoured personnel carrier did not deter the unionists as they locked the soldiers and their vehicles inside the premises.
As at the time of filing this report the military personnel were in negotiation with the unionists to open the gate for them to go out.
At the Kaduna State Media Corporation (KSMC), it was not all that smooth as a top management staff was said to have ordered the security men to forcefully bundle the secretary of the Chapel out of the premises.
The management of the corporation was also reported to have threatened that any staff that participated in the strike action should consider himself or herself sacked, saying, “We have been looking for a way to downsize our staff.”
This development did not go down well with the state leadership of the council who dashed down with two vehicles with RATTAWU inscription and used chain and padlock to lock the three doors that led to the premises, in the process, locking up some of the management staff in the premises.
The chairman of the Kaduna state council of RATTAWU Malam Jibrin Hassan said the management staffs of KSMC were given enough time to vacate their offices, but they chose to stay put in order to intimidate their members.
At the Kaduna state Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the striking workers were seen there soliciting for support from the congress. They carried placard with inscription such as, “We work round the clock, yet our salary is nothing to write home about,” “Support RATTAWU’s campaign for enhanced salary structure.