For not paying salaries within a duration of 12 and 17 months, staff of the Daar Communications Plc, operator of African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM Radio, have on Wednesday embarked on industrial action, shutting down all broadcasting activities at the Benin studio in protest.
According to report, the protesting workers were said to have blocked the main entrance to the station located along the Benin/Lagos bypass.
One of the protesters, who preferred anonymity revealed that newly employed staff of AIT were being owed 12 months while old staff were yet to be paid salaries between 13 months and staff of the Raypower FM, the Radio arm of the broadcast outfit were owed 17 months.
The protesting worker said: “The stations generate millions of naira on a daily basis, so there is no reason why we should not be paid our salaries. They have no excuse not to pay us our money. It is share wickedness and man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. We have families to care for and children to pay their school fees. Many of our children have stopped going to school. But their own attend schools abroad.
“Look at where our station is located, in another village so far away from Benin City. You have to chatter a taxi cab for not less than N500.00 to get there if you miss the staff bus. And not even every cab driver will agree to go there because of the wrong location of the station, yet, they expect us to be there every day, whether you have anything to do or not,”
Anti-riot policemen were however called by the management of the station to forestall any break down of law.
The Chairman of the organization, Raymond Dokpesi (Jnr) was said to have begged the protesters on phone, appealing for calm, assuring them that the management will within one week do everything possible to pay parts of the salary arrears.