The chairman and editor-in-chief of ThisDay Newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena has fired 13 staff of the company after they gave him an ultimatum demanding the payment of their outstanding salaries.
It is unclear if the affecting staff would be paid their outstanding salaries or their termination benefits. Some of the staff had been owed salaries for as long as one year, the least being seven months.
The thirteen ThisDay staff had on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 written memo to Obaigbena demanding a payment of their outstanding salaries by Friday, June 10 or they would embark on an industrial action to protest the prolonged delay in salary payment.
The staff, all of the editorial department, had threatened to begin a warning strike on June 12 that would last till 19. After which, if their salaries remained unpaid, they would before declaring a total strike.
Obaigbena, in a text message to a management staff in the administration department, Israel Iwuegbu, on Wednesday, ordered that all the thirteen staff be fired, The Eagle Online, an Internet newspaper reports.
The staff who signed the memo are Tobi Soniyi, Olawale Ajimotokan, Patrick Ugeh, Senator Iroegbu, James Emejo, Omololu Ogunmade, Paul Obi, Ndubusi Francis, Dele Ogbodo, Damilola Oyedele, Chineme Okafor, Godwin Omoigui and Onyebuchi Ezigbo.
While junior staff in the Abuja office are being owed seven months, the senior staff are waiting to be paid for 12 months.
The memo by the 13 staff, all of the Abuja office of the news organisation, is published below:
ThisDay Staff Memo To Nduka Obaigbena
From: Editorial Staff, Abuja Office
Through: Editor, Nation’s Capital
To: The Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, THISDAY Newspapers
Subject: Notice of Warning Strike
Date: June 7, 2016
Having borne the brunt of Management’s non-payment of our salaries —- running into several months, we, the undersigned Editorial Staff of THISDAY Abuja, have come to the painful decision to declare a warning strike.
Should the management fails to pay us by Friday, June 10, 2016, we will have no option than to embark on a one-week warning strike from Sunday June 12, 2016 until June 19, 2016.
Please, note that an indefinite strike will ensue at the expiration of the warning strike.
By this letter, we are putting the management on notice that effective Sunday June 12, 2016, we will cease to send stories to all THISDAY titles until our salary arrears are defrayed. In this case, we will supply stories to all the titles from now until Saturday June 11, 2016.
For several years, we have sacrificed everything- emotionally, physically and materially to ensure the continued survival of THISDAY but regrettably, the organisation has demonstrated an abysmal disregard for these gestures.
We need not state the obvious that virtually all of us here can no longer meet our obligations both to our families and other responsibilities.
Thanking you for your urgent response.
1. Tobi Soniyi
2. Olawale Ajimotokan
3. Patrick Ugeh
4. Senator Iroegbu
5. James Emejo
6. Omololu Ogunmade
7. Paul Obi
8. Ndubusi Francis
9. Dele Ogbodo
10. Damilola Oyedele
11. Chineme Okafor
12. Godwin Omoigui
13. Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Cc: MD, DMD, GED (Finance), GED (Admin), GED (Abuja), Editor/GED, Editor (Sunday), Editor (Saturday), Editor, Nation’s Capital and Deputy Editors.