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General News of Friday, 10 June 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

ASUU decries unionism ban in Edo tertiary institutions

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday expressed shock over the decision of the Edo Government to ban staff union activities in the state-owned tertiary institutions.

Chairman, Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma chapter of the ASUU, Dr Cyril Onogbosele, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said there was no basis for the government’s action.

NAN had reported that the state government at its Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Benin banned staff unions in all its higher institutions following lingering industrial action by the ASUU at the AUU.

The industrial action led to a mass protest by the students, who claimed the strike was having an untold disruption in the academic programme.

The unions affected by the ban are the ASUU and Non-Academic Staff of Universities, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities.

Others are the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and all allied unions operating across all state-owned tertiary institutions.

But Ogbonosele said the suspension of the unions is a breach on the freedom of association which he said is a fundamental right.

“We studying it and want to tell the government that this is not the way to go.

“If a union is on strike over issues, you engage the union on how to resolve them not to ban its activities because the union is a body recognised by law and our strike is lawful.

“We follow due processes in declaring a strike. Banning the union activities is not the way

He said alleged that the students' protest, which the state government justified for the ban, was orchestrated by the university administration.

On the plan to enforce a no-work, no-pay policy on lecturers who refuses to resume, the ASUU chairman said it was anti-labour.

“It is an anti-labour policy because in labour law the right of employees to protest when they are not well treated by the employer is guaranteed.

“So, if they withdraw their services because of the failure of the employer to do the right the employer should do is not to adopt no-work, no-pay policy, but to engage them on how to resolve it.

“So, it is anti-labour, it is not the right thing to do,” he said.