The Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Tuesday appealed to media owners and public-spirited individuals in the state to support the union in its welfare drive for members.
The state union Chairman and Secretary, Ademola Babalola and Sola Oladapo, made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan.
The union decried the cut in journalists’ pay by their employers under the guise of the parlous revenue generation because of the ravaging global pandemic – Coronavirus.
“Many media establishments today are owing to our colleagues for several months of arrears of salaries.
“The meagre monthly salary, which was never commensurate with the contributions of our colleagues, had in many establishments remain unpaid, thus putting the journalist undue pressure to fend for himself and his family.
“The development has further impoverished our colleagues and make them laughing stocks in society.
“Living is no longer bearable for many with those receiving regular salary complaining of harsh economic trends in the land.
“Some establishments are shortchanging our colleagues by cutting off their meagre salary by 50 per cent
“We use this medium to appeal to media owners to have a rethink on their anti-workers posture in recent time and fear God in their dealings with our colleagues.
“Worse still, the investigation has shown that virtually all media houses, with no exception, have neither given protective gadgets nor provided palliatives to their staff since the outbreak of ravaging COVID-19.
“We are being exposed to risks in meeting our daily tasks of informing and enlightening the public, yet we are more prone to the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
The union appealed to philanthropists in the state to come to the aid of journalists by providing them with more welfare packages that could make them stay safe.
“This will make them do more in their daily routine as essential frontline workers, in containing and combating Coronavirus.”