*appeals to Northern Govs for action
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
No fewer than 100 retired and serving workers of New Nigerian Newspapers have died awaiting their entitlements from Owners of the company , 19 Northern State Governors.
The shocking revelation was made by Joint Union Chairman of the company , Comrade Friday Idoko shortly after staff of the Newspaper rose from a Congress held to call on Northern Governors to expedite action on sales of the company’s property to offset workers’ entitlements and other liabilities .
Idoko expressed disappointment over slow pace in the bidding process he noted should have been concluded and workers’ dues paid long ago but , according to him owners of the Newspaper had been foot-dragging which he said led to immeasurable hardship on workers.
He disclosed 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 , Idoko attributed to financial bottlenecks experienced due to lack of salaries.
” 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 of telling truth to people.
” But unfortunately , despite huge sacrifice by these workers , particularly the editorial staff who go about overstretching their limits to source for newsworthy 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 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 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 every now and then with no positive results in sight.
” All we are collectively asking from these governors is to resume the suspended process to sell properties of the company , several of such assets are lying fallow and encroached upon.
” They should do the needful by utilizing this opportunity so their names would 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 .
” Addressing 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 now and tomorrow. ” Comrade Idoko admonished.