The Federal Government has declared the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU as illegal.
Recall thatThe News Beam had earlier reported that ASUU declared a four-week warning strike on Monday, February 14 at a press briefing at the University of Lagos after the National Executive Council (NEC) 2-day marathon meeting in Lagos.
The government claims that the demands made by ASUU are already being met, but the union strongly disagrees
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A conciliatory meeting called by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to address the strike, on Wednesday morning, appears to have ended in deadlock as Ngige described the ongoing strike as a clear breach of the law
Ngige said the union did not follow the normal procedure before embarking on the industrial action.
Similarly, he criticized ASUU’s action, saying the union did not give the Federal Government the minimum 14 days strike notice required by law, prior to the strike
“I saw their letter in my office on February 18, which is last Friday and as you know, they started their action on Monday, February 14. So, it is a clear breach of labour laws. There are violations.
“If you must notify us of intending strike action, you give us a minimum of 14 days’ notice. I pointed out to them that we are a country guided by laws. Nobody is above the law. They should obey it.”
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According to Ngige, he may also avert the strike by using the Trade Disputes Act; once that is accomplished, the strike will be over.
It is likely that the meeting between the warring parties will continue on Monday next week, as Ngige has pledged to seek the intervention of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).
“By Monday, we would have dealt with some of the issues they are talking about and return to them for further discussion. We will meet again with them and the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and we take it from there.” Ngige stated.