The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today urged its member unions worldwide to express their solidarity with the journalists locked out by The Guardian management in Nigeria.
The 800 journalists and other workers took strike action on November 6 after negotiation with The Guardian management over a pay rise and better working conditions broke down. The Guardian online and print editions have not been published since.
Moves to settle the strike following mediation from the Nigerian Labour Congress were first agreed-- and the workers decided to resume work-- then thwarted after management made an about-turn and dismissed the striking journalists on November 16.
“The Guardian management have behaved in a scandalous and provocative way,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Their attempted use of striker breakers and unfair labour practices and their unwillingness to accept terms negotiated by the Nigerian Labour Congress show the determination of management to break the union and humiliate their workers.”
“This strike is a critical action in which journalists worldwide have a stake. We will not stand by and leave our colleagues at The Guardian at the mercy of the whims of The Guardian publishers,” he added.
In a letter sent today to Minister of Labour Hassan Lawal, the IFJ President called on him to intervene as a matter of urgency to protect the employees’ rights and their jobs and ensure that The Guardian publishers reinstate the sacked journalists and implement terms agreed in negotiations.
The IFJ and its regional arm, the newly-launched Federation of African Journalists, have asked journalists unions to send messages of support to the Nigerian Union of Journalists and to voice their protests to the management of The Guardian by writing to the publishers.
“Our colleagues in Nigeria are in the frontline of a campaign for rights at work and decent conditions in Africa,” said Boumelha. “We will give them our full support.”
Send a message of support to:
Mr Usman Leman, Nigerian Union of Journalists
Send a letter of protest to:
Mrs Maiden Ibru, Publisher, The Guardian Newspapers
For more information contact the IFJ at + 32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide