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About 100 retired and serving workers of New Nigerian Newspapers have died awaiting their entitlements from owners of the company, 19 Northern States Governors.
The shocking revelation was made by Joint Union Chairman of the company on Tuesday in Kaduna, Comrade Friday Idoko shortly after the staff congress calling on the Northern Governors to expedite action on the sales of the company’s property to offset workers’ entitlements and other liabilities.
Idoko expressed concern that there was slow pace in the bidding process, stressing that it should have been concluded and workers’ dues paid long ago.
According to him, owners of the Newspaper had been foot-dragging on the issue of paying the staff their entitlements leading to the immeasurable hardship on the workers.
He lamented that many staff had been evicted by their landlords, their children sent out from schools while several others had died due to heart related ailments, attributing the problems to financial bottlenecks experienced due to lack of salaries.
He observed, “From 2012 till date, we have lost not fewer than 100 of our members awaiting these governors to pay their accumulated salaries and other accrued benefits that would have made life worth living and probably saved them from death.
“Our staff have been active and committed to their duties to ensure our publications come out daily online to ensure sustainability of one of Sardauna’s legacies.
“But unfortunately, despite huge sacrifice by these workers, particularly the editorial staff who go about overstretching their limits to source for stories for publication, the process that would have seen their accumulated process paid have been put on hold.
“I must point out that their patience is fast running out, their perseverance exhausted and their sense of commitments to peace and harmony tested.
“It is in this low spirits that we have converged here today, both serving and retired staff from September 2006 till date, who have worked for the Northern Governors to express our displeasure over snail speed of bidding and sales process of property owned by the company to pay us our entitlements.
“We the union Excos on our part have been calming the nerves of our members, urging them to exercise restraints, patience and perseverance as they await their unpaid salaries from their employers.
“There is limit to how you can prevail on an individual to reason with you, particularly when you have been telling him same story everyday with no positive results in sight.
“All we are collectively asking from these governors is to resume the suspended process to sell these properties of the company, several of such assets are lying fallow and encroached upon.
“They should do the needful by utilizing this opportunity so that their names will be written in gold and be recorded on good side of history as leaders whose tenures put smiles on faces of long-suffering workers of New Nigerian.”
They noted that addressing the issue of insecurity begins from paying workers their dues to avoid tempting them into crime and anti-social activities, which would not augur well for the society.