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April 21, 2024
You are currently viewing FG appeals to SSANU, NASU to call off warning strike
Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State, Labour and Employment

FG appeals to SSANU, NASU to call off warning strike

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By Joan Nwagwu

The Federal Government has appealed to the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) to call off their seven-day warning strike.

Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, made the appeal on Monday in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry.

It would be recalled that the Joint Action Committee of SSANU and NASU had directed its members to embark on a seven- day warning strike over the non-payment of four months withheld salaries.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had in October 2023, directed that the university workers that embarked on prolonged strike in 2022, be paid four months.

Recall also that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who were part of the unions that embarked on the strike had been paid their own withheld four months salaries.

Onyejeocha also expressed displeasure at the action of the unions, which she described as a total disregard of Federal Government’s concerted effort to address the concern of the unions.

According to her, the Ministry was not officially notified by the unions of their intention to proceed on a seven-day warning strike.

“This is contrary to the provisions of section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act.

“The ministry got wind of the intended warning strike and it reached out to the leadership of the unions for an emergency meeting in order to avert the strike.

“Unfortunately, a physical meeting could not be arranged between the unions and the federal government, but a tele-discussion took place between their leadership and the ministry,” she said.

Onyejeocha said that consequently, the ministry suggested another date, Monday March 18, for a proper conciliation meeting.

She added that this was believing that on the basis of that discussion, the intended strike would be put on hold pending the outcome of the meeting; but this date was rejected by the unions.

The minister however, maintained that strike did not serve any useful purpose and should only be resorted to as a last option after exhausting every conciliation effort.

Onyejocha appealed to SSANU and NASU to step back from their hard-line stance and meet the federal government at the table for conciliation.

She however, appealed to all Nigerians to always take steps that were beneficial to the well-being of the country and the citizens. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Maureen Atuonwu

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