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FG Appeals to SSANU, NASU to Call Off Warning Strike

The Federal Government has appealed to the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the 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 appealed in a statement signed by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry on Monday in Abuja.

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 who embarked on a prolonged strike in 2022 should 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 the Federal Government’s concerted effort to address the concerns 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 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 18th March, for a proper conciliation meeting.

She added that this was believed that based on 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 the 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.

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