Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
An attempt to shut down Gloryland radio belonging to the Bayelsa State government on Saturday was stoutly resisted by security operatives who, in company of a top aide of Governor Seriake Dickson, had halted the activities of the angry workers.
The workers in the state who have not been paid since this year, had on Thursday commenced an industrial action to compel the government to clear the backlog of salaries owed them.
Members of the Radio and Television Workers Union (RATAWU), it was learnt, had commenced moves to shut down the radio station but were dispersed by armed policemen who came with the Commissioner.
The workers had already seized the transmitter, locked various sections and taken the station off air before the mobile policemen were directed to put the station back to business.
However, for fear that they might be attacked by the irate workers, the station stopped its regular programming and played music throughout.
An official of the Radio Bayelsa chapter of RATAWU alleged that the workers scampered to safety as they were forcefully dispersed by the security operatives.
Mr Hayford Lawson, General Manager of the broadcast outfit, in his reaction, said that the management insisted that workers had no rights to totally shut down the station.
“They insisted on taking us off air and we said that it is not going to happen. We opted to render skeletal services using senior management staff who are not affected by the strike under labour laws.
“We have scaled down our operations and out of four news bulletins, we only have two and we shut down services by 6 pm. The Commissioner was here with us and did not molest the workers, there was nothing like that,” Lawson said.
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