The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council on Friday led former staff of Champion Newspapers to protest at Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, venue of 2020 Champion Newspapers Excellence Awards, over unpaid 54 months salary arrears.
The protest against the management of the Newspapers was led by the Council Chairman, Dr. Quasim Akinreti, as well as the National Trustee of the Union, Sylva Okereke.
It was gathered that as the protest was going on, the management of Champion Newspapers threatened to arrest the Council Chairman and his team of protesters, who were unperturbed over the threats by the police and management of the hotel.
The protesters claimed that the Publisher of the Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, and the Managing Director of the Company, Nwadiuto Ihekanwa, have been considered very insensitive to the plights of the past and present staff of the company, as over 25 staff have so far died due to non-payment of over four years salaries.
It was gathered that despite selling the property of Champion Newspapers to Promasidor for N2.5 billion, the management refused to pay the over N100 million owed to the staff. Protesters were seen carrying placards with inscriptions such as: No Pay, no award!; Madam, You’re Wicked!!; You have enslaved our members!!!
Others read: “Champion management you’re heartless!; Pay us our money; and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu enslaved our members.
It would be recalled that the 2020 Champion Newspapers Excellence Award was expected to attract at least two governors: Governors Ben Ayade and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Other recipients include, the CEO Air Peace, GMD of Zenith Bank, Seplat and Globacom among others.