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FG begs varsity workers to shelve warning strike

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Federal Government has appealed to the Non-Academic Staff Unions of Universities to shelve its five-day warning strike.
The unions are National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige on Monday in a statement said that the suspension of the strike would be in the interest of the nation.
The unions had jointly declared their intention to embark on a five–day warning strike effective Jan. 16, 2017.
“I wish to assure that the Federal Government is ready and willing to fully dialogue with the members of these Trade Unions, operating under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee. Government has already opened an unhindered channel of communication with all stakeholders and shall maintain this.
“Today, Jan. 16, 2017, I convened a meeting of all stakeholders in the dispute for us to ventilate all issues and reach amicable settlement. Unfortunately, the Trade Unions requested for a different date, and the meeting now rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017.
“The Federal Government, therefore expects that the Trade Unions should suspend the strike before the rescheduled meeting to make way for untrammeled discussions,” he said.
Ngige said that it was important for Trade Unions to embrace social dialogue in the pursuit and attainment of the economic and social interests of their members anchored on equity and natural justice.
He added that, I hence thought it necessary to remind the Trade Unions that there is nothing like a “warning strike” in our National Industrial Relations System (NIRS).
He said that “a strike is a strike and is subject to all the rules governing strike in the world of work.’’
“Accordingly, the provisions of Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004, will apply regarding the law of “no work no pay by workers/employees. This is notwithstanding any other circumstances in any section of the Act.”
“Once more, I wish to appeal to the trade unions to embrace dialogue as the Federal Government is fully committed to peaceful resolution of what the unions termed “Full Implementation of 2009 FGN/Non–Teaching Staff Union’s Agreement,”he said.

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