The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has mandated the leadership of the union to liaise with labour and civil society groups in the country to begin picketing of media houses owing journalists salaries.
The NEC-in-Session gave the directive during its quarterly three-day meeting held in Umuahia, Abiia state capital.
In a communique issued weekend at the end of the meeting and signed by the President of the Union, Mallam Mohammed Garba and the National Secretary, Shauib Usman Leman, the NEC gave April 31 as deadline for the payment of all outstanding salaries, after which picketing of defaulting media houses will commence from May 1, 2013, in Lagos before being extended to other states of the federation and Abuja.
Already, all the affected media houses in Lagos and Abuja had been duly notified by the national secretariat of the union.
NEC also re-affirmed its commitment to the welfare of its members.
While decrying spate of arrests of Journalists, especially four journalists from Leadership newspapers, the union viewed such arrest as a siege on the media, describing it as undemocratic and uncalled-for. Noting that the union will not shy away from its responsibilities in protecting its members, the Union urged members to discharge their responsibilities in line with the ethics of the profession.
The union while clearing the air on Good Governance tour said the leadership embarked on the tour based on conviction that it was a genuine assessment of projects executed by different state governments in the country and not as jamboree as speculated in different quarters.
The meeting-in-session however disclosed the need to review the Code of Ethics for Nigerian journalists in order to be in tandem with global media industry.
The Union however appealed to federal government to ensure security of lives and property of Nigerians by addressing security challenges in the country.
The NEC-in-Session also congratulated NUJ President Malam Garba Mohammed for emerging as the first Nigerian to be elected President of the Federation of African Journalists-FAJ as well as Fatimah Abdulkareem, who emerged as the Vice Chairman, Gender Committee of FAJ.
While appealing to state governments to implement the 22 percent Weigh-in allowance for journalists in their employ, the Union urged the federal government to also pay arrears of the allowance to members.