The effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the plight of workers is emerging with the the American University of Nigeria (AUN) owned by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, sacking over 400 of its staff.
This comes as TVC (Television Continental), owned by national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has slashed the salaries of its staff ranging from five to 25 per cent.
Incidentally, on 01 May 2020, Atiku’s media company, Gotel Communications, sacked 46 of its staff.
President of AUN, Dawn Dekle, signed the sack letters which stated that the university no longer required their services.
Some of the disengaged workers lamented that they were fired without severance benefits despite serving the university for about 10 years.
But the Vice President, University Relations of AUN, Abubakar Abba Tahir, said there is not truth in the allegations being peddled by the disengaged staff.
Said Tahir, “Ask them to show you their disengagement letters. Until now, AUN has operated a student-staff ratio which balance had continued to affect the sustainability of the university. It would not be realistic for AUN to continue to anchor its administrative structure on an over-bloated personnel whose role do not have significant effect on the philosophy of a development university.
“Thus, consequent upon the university’s new Governing Council vote to restructure the institution in line with its agenda for sustainability, a process of workforce rationalisation had been in the pipeline. It is now time for the university to look back, look around and look ahead to ensure that realistic and globally competitive administrative practices can be achieved in structure, strategy and focus.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of TVC, Andrew Hanlon, said the slash of salaries of staff of the organization was to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus on the media sector.
In a broadcast message to the staff on Monday Hanlon stated as follows:
“Broadcasters across the world are battling with losses. In order to save jobs and not lay off any staff, I regret to inform you that we’ve been forced to reduce our pay. Staff earning N80,000 will get a 5% reduction, those earning between N80,000 and N200,000 will get a 10% cut.
“Senior staff earning between N200,000 and N400,000 will get 15 per cent while those earning N400 thousand to N1 million will get a 20 per cent reduction. The management team and director get 25% cut while the CEO also gets a reduction. Pension, transport, accommodation allowances remain the same without any cut.”