Workers of Abia Broadcasting Corporation have shut down the station to protest against the state government’s failure to pay their outstanding April 2015 salary.
News Agency of Nigeria learnt that the strike, which commenced on Monday night, was at the instance of the Joint Action Committee of the three unions in the organisation.
The unions consist of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union and Union of Secretarial, Reportorial, Data Processors and Allied Workers Union.
The workers are also protesting against alleged deductions of different percentages from their salaries without their consent.
NAN learnt that the government began to remove between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of the salaries, depending on each worker’s grade level in September 2015.
Although the leadership of the JAC could not be reached to speak on the action, a member told NAN on the condition of anonymity that the committee met on Monday and resolved to proceed on an indefinite strike.
The member said: “When the government committee on salary brought the payroll to the station, the unions rejected the continued deductions on our salaries.
“We produced another payroll with workers full salaries and took it to the committee but it was rejected so JAC met and resolved to embark on strike last night.”
The union leader further told NAN that workers promoted to new grade levels stopped enjoying the new grade salaries since 2015.
“Those who were promoted to new grade levels since 2015 are still paid their old salaries.”
Some residents of Umuahia, who tuned in to the radio station for the usual 6.30 a.m. news on Tuesday said that they were surprised to find out that it was off air.
Onwughara Ihejirika said that he was deeply disbursed when he woke up to listen to BCA news but discovered that the station was off air.
“It was disappointing,” Ihejorika said, adding that he tuned in to another station where the strike was reported.
Also, Chris Ugwu, Caroline Ife and Anthonia Igwe, all civil servants, also described the development as surprising and unfortunate.
When contacted, the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi, said that the issue had been resolved and workers resumed duty by about 10 a.m.
Okiyi said: “This morning, workers at the station protested the non-payment of their April 2015 salaries as well as other allowances.”
He said that the workers also “demanded an increase in their money to run the station.”
Okiyi said the issue was resolved at a meeting between their leaders, himself and the Commissioner for Finance, Obinna Oriaku.