There is no gain saying that unionism is not good if the role ascribe to every unionist is strictly adhere to as enshrined in the trade union act that give birth to all trade unionist in Nigeria, but we have a situation where emphasis is placed on registration of Journalists than payment of check-up due that makes a Journalist a full time member of the union.
The issue at hand at Yola NUJ is quite different from what we know unionism to be from the onset, I specifically don’t know how non-payments of check-up due by 70 percent of the freelance journalists makes them member of the union, we are in a perilous time that makes what is being practiced in Yola by some journalists is seem to a charade, as non-payments of check-up dues has already put most of the freelance journalists in a tight corner.
how can one explain the situation we have at hand at Adamawa state where 70 percent of the freelance journalists who are check-up due defaulters call themselves unionist to an extent they make mockery of other media practitioners who are not fraternising with them what a pity. It is high time we let the cat out of the bag by telling other journalists that what is obtainable in Yola is the gathering of journalists for the purpose of press conferences and meeting high profile government officials for financial gains not unionism as envisage by the framer of the trade union act, period!
The trade union act was specific to who a unionist should be as enshrined in section 17 of the trade union act “Deductions of wages of union members of the registration and recognition of any of the trade unions specified in the Third Schedule to this Act, the employer shall- (a) make deduction from the wages of every worker who is a member of any of the trade unions for the purpose of paying contributions to the trade union so registered”;
The above section gave illustration the role check-up dues play in the unionism movement, the question in the lips of some of us is that, can a journalist who is a freelancer pay check-up dues? Can such journalist be said to be a member of the union in regard to section 17 of the trade union act. The requisite for membership of any union according to the trade union act is check-up dues payment.
Written by Larry Agbor