Organised Labour in Nigeria, officially reported the Federal Government’s anti-workers activities against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, who addressed the plenary of the 110th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland complained about the growing resistance to workers freedom.
He lamented the sorry state of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria claiming the Federal Government has not shown the compassion and will power to end the strike by university lecturers and non-academic staff which has kept Nigeria’s future generations out of school for over two months.
“In Nigeria, workers in our universities, both academic and non-academic have been on strike for more than two months because of non-implementation of collective bargaining agreement. We call government to bring this strike to an end without further delay.
“We are appalled and opposed to the growing resistance against trade unionism through obstructions of freedom of association, freedom to organise, freedom to collectively bargain, right to strike and the irresponsible violation of collective bargaining agreements especially by multinational companies. Globally, workers are concerned about the rise of fascism, ultra-nationalism, unilateralism, irresponsible capitalism, and despotism which threaten not only the fabrics of harmonious industrial relations but also the foundations of global peace and our collective survival.”
Wabba said the NLC would continue to support the striking universities workers until all issues that led to the industrial action are resolved.
The NLC president stated that though the Congress earlier issued an ultimatum to the government, which has now elapsed, he said the nationwide strike was put on hold following the intervention of notable individuals in the country.
“What we want to achieve from the ultimatum was to get attention, which I would say we were able to achieve. The Sultan of Sokoto, Secretary to the Federation of Nigeria and others intervened and tell us to give them sometime to intervene. We are actually waiting for them. That is also in conjunction with the ILO which believes more in dialogue than shut down. Also for us as a labour centre, strike is always the last option when other avenues have failed. But we are still fully in support of our members in ASUU,” he said.
Wabba, however, commended the commitment of social partners in Nigeria for institutionalising Social Dialogue through the resuscitation of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC).
According to him, this tripartite structure has completed the process of reviewing of the nation’s five Labour laws.
“We are expecting government to forward these laws to the Nigerian parliament without delay. Similarly, the NLAC has also been utilised to process ILO Convention 190 for ratification. We are confident that this ratification will happen very soon. Together, we can make the world a better place to live, work and raise our families,” he said.
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