Kenyan journalists should be on the front line in registering with the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) to enhance their welfare and terminal benefits. According to Erick Oduor, the KUJ Secretary General, foreign journalists based in Kenya form the bulk of its membership.
Speaking during a recent forum on journalists’ welfare issues organised jointly with Internews, Oduor urged Kenyan journalists to try and register with the union so that their welfare can be looked into whenever need arises.
“Journalists too have rights that are supposed to be taken care of, but the question is, who will take care of them for you? You want everything done for you as journalist yet you don’t want to participate in the union activities, how do you expect it to happen?” said Oduor.
Recently, when some journalists were attacked at JKIA, Oduor says he decided not to record a statement at the police station so as to see if anybody was concerned about the issue, and to his surprise, the story was nowhere to be seen even in the daily newspapers.
“Most cases we deal with are for non-union members because all union members are comfortably covered by our CBAs,” he said.
Journalists were also challenged to use the power they have to fight for their rights and welfare especially in terms of salaries and allowances.
In addition, they should not allow any employer to frustrate them sacking them whenever they wish or feel like, they also have rights that protect them and procedures, terms and conditions in the labour law should be followed when it comes to employment and sacking of any employee.