Call ASUU to order, Ngige tells NLC

The federal government has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to advise its affiliate, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to abide by the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act and call off its ongoing strike.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2022 edition of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) in Lagos, Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige also urged the Council to discuss as part of its agenda, a workable recipe that appropriately conciliates disputes with associations not properly registered as trade unions to ensure they fully abide by the provisions of the law.

According to a statement signed by Deputy Director Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan, the minister noted that some associations in critical sectors of health and education such as Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) National Association of Resident Doctors(NARD) were in actual fact, not properly unionised.

“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.

“For example, ASUU declared a month strike and called it warning strike . It did not notify their employer , the Ministry of Education , neither did they notify me , the Minister of labour that there is a breakdown in negotiation . I know that they had some discussions which was in limbo but I should be notified properly so that I can arrest the breakdown and bring it forward for properly 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 of that strike. That strike is not appropriately instituted . I have conciliated and made sure the issues in disputes have been decisively been dealt with,” he said.

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