Nigeria Universities Locked Down; Labour to Begin Strike Tomorrow

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked its members nationwide to begin an indefinite nationwide strike.

This is coming before the organised labour embarks on a heavier strike on Tuesday. As its tomorrow’s deadline for strike draws close, organised labour did not attend the conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government’s team in Abuja yesterday. It said it was not invited.

The disclosure followed a meeting leaders of the union held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.

ASUU took the decision due to poor funding of universities, according to the ASUU National President Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi.

Sources in the labour movement told The Guardian last night that its members would, however, attend the meeting slated for the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, today, because it received an invitation.

It was further learnt that the organised labour would attend the meeting under the auspices of the tripartite committee on minimum wage.

The Guardian learnt that the organised labour would also not be renegotiating the N30,000 figure but would rather push for the submission of the tripartite committee’s report to President Muhammadu Buhari for onward transmission to the National Assembly for legislative action.

Sources also confided in The Guardian that the organised private sector aligns itself with the position of the labour movement on the need for Buhari to officially receive the report and transmit the same to the Assembly.

Meanwhile labour chapters nationwide have begun putting finishing touches to their mobilisation for the strike.

Workers’ unions in the aviation industry said they would embark on the industrial action. The unions also demanded full compliance from members, with a view to grounding flight services nationwide. The unions, in a joint statement by Comrade Frances Akinjole of the Air Traffic Senior Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Ocheme Aba of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Comrade Temenu Akinola Assistant Secretary General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), said the strike would be indefinite.

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In an earlier statement, national president of NUATE, Ben Nnabue, insisted the action is “due to the inability of the Federal Government to agree on the new national minimum wage.” He added: “All flights operating in and out of Nigerian airports shall be affected by this industrial action.”

There could be scarcity of petroleum products beginning tomorrow if unions in the oil sector back the plan. General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) Adamu Song, in a phone interview, said the union would support the strike , as long as the United Labour Congress (ULC), to which it belongs, also supports it.

Asked if there would be fuel in circulation during the period however, Song said: “We just returned (from a meeting on PIGB in London). We are pressed with so much of what is happening. You know, there are factors and there is a court action. We need to consult with our officers who are on ground to brief us properly and take decision based on the information we get.” Allafrica

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