FG urges NLC to pressure ASUU into calling off strike

The Federal Government has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC to persuade the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing strike, in line with the Trade Disputes Act.

Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and productivity, said this at the opening ceremony of the 2022 edition of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) in Lagos.

Ngige has the FG had continued to negotiate with ASUU despite it not being properly registered as trade union.

“What will be the relationship with workers’ organizations that are not properly registered as trade unions?  He queried.

Ngige also argues that the Labour Act gives the minister the power to arrest a strike following which contending parties are bound to negotiate.

“Even though the Trade Disputes Act permits the minister to apprehend and deal with these workers that have not been registered as unions … you (will) encounter problems, because they (ASUU) do not fully understand the nuisances or obey the labour laws as it should be.

“If you are a union, you give adequate notice before proceeding on strike. If you are a union too and your strike is apprehended, you go back to your work while the necessary adjustment is made to give you justice. NLAC is expected to get the workers’ side of the tripartite live up to their responsibilities in this regard.

“The university teachers are registered under the Academic Staff Union of Universities and are affiliated to the Nigerian Labour Congress but that affiliation is only in name. It is not indeed, because they don’t obey the Labour Act as it concerns conciliation.

“Now, I apprehended the dispute in consonance with the Labour Act. They came for conciliation, only for them to go back and continue the strike. This is illegal.

“So, I’m using this opportunity to plead with the NLC to which ASUU is affiliated, to call them to order, make them obey the law, to let them know what the Trade Disputes Act says and as university teachers who are even teaching industrial law, to abide by the law.

“They should call off that strike,” said the minister.


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