Thursday, August 29, 2013
Strike: NLC Wades into FG-ASUU Impasse
federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it would convince
ASUU to return to the negotiation table and seek a permanent solution
to the crises.
Negotiations between the union and the government had been deadlocked
with the union accusing the government of insincerity and the
government accusing the union of deliberately frustrating peace moves.
The President of the NLC, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar, said this at a media
briefing after an emergency meeting of the congress in Abuja yesterday
where he lamented that the ongoing strike by ASUU hadbeen allowed to
drag this long.
"We will engage ASUU in consultations to ensure that they return to
the negotiation tables, not only to come back to the negotiation table
but toengage in negotiations that will lead to lasting solution to the
prolonged crises," he said.
He expressed the readiness of the NLC to be directly involved in the
"It is a serious situation that we are having to allow lecturers to be
out of classroom for more than two months," Omar lamented.
He also spoke on the decentralisation of the minimum wage by the
Senate during the constitutional amendment process describing it as a
danger to the welfare of the working class.
"Putting the minimum wage on the exclusive list isnot an accident. It
is to ensure that workers are taken care of. It is a minimum wage, not
a maximumwage, it is a benchmark, no two employers are paying the same
thing, but there must be a minimum," he said.
Omar disclosed that the NLC was awaiting a concurrence from the Trade
Union Congress (TUC) before deciding on the next line of action. He,
however, noted that it was not too late for the Senate to retrace its
In a communique also issued at the end of the meeting, the National
Executive Council of the NLC resolved to mobilise its members across
the countryagainst the decision of the Senate.
This, it said is due to the potential of the decentralisation of the
minimum wage to encourage slave labour, destruction of the economy and
create an environment for payment of arbitrary wages.
The act would also cause major industrial unrest, labour warned in
addition to worsening the national security situation
"Congress also notes with grave concern the poor conditions of service
in Anambra State. Congress is particularly dismayed that a Permanent
Secretary in the state civil service earns as low as N150,000 per
month," it read.
It read further: "Congress accordingly urges the Anambra State
Government to immediately work towards the improvement of the
conditions of service of workers. Congress warns that in the event of
failure of the government to act speedily act, it would be compelled
to act in sympathy with the workers in Anambra State."