Striking journos pray to founder

2012-04-12 00:00

THE historic strike by the journalists at Ilanga newspaper entered its fifth day yesterday, halting today’s publication, as journalists prayed for ancestral intervention by the publication’s founder.

Monday’s edition of the paper was scrapped, making history as the first newspaper in recent memory to miss publishing because of a strike by its team of journalists.

Media experts called the strike unprecedented.

The journalists downed pens on Friday after their managing director Arthur Konigkramer allegedly refused to meet with them. Konigkramer told The Witness that he wanted to deal with the employees individually not as a bloc.

Attempts to contact Konigkramer yesterday were unsuccessful as his phone rang unanswered or was switched off after ringing.

He previously told The Witness that only Monday’s newspaper would not be published.

In a letter distributed to the media, the journalists called for a market-related salary, for the monthly housing allowance of R350 to apply to all the workers and be backdated to their individual start dates, and for a 10% increase.

“There will be no newspaper today,” said one of the journalists. “The entire newsroom is empty and no stories will be published.

“The manager has told us that he will not talk to us, and we are steadfast in our resolve. We will not go back to work until this is resolved.”

The strike is drawing support from people associated with the newspaper.

On Tuesday, the journalists visited the daughter of founder John Langalibalele Dube and her daughter Lulu Ngcobo. They also visited Dube’s gravesite asking for his intervention.

• thamsanqam@witness

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