FUTO, UNIBEN, ATBU begins strike action

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FUTO, UNIBEN, ATBU begins strike action                                …says federal government failed to meet their demands following the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum given by the university staff unions

Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) at Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO), University of Benin (UNIBEN) and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, has embarked on a one-week warning strike. Academic and other activities were on Monday crippled at the universities as a result of the strike.

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The nationwide one-week warning strike embarked upon by the unions is to compel the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached with the unions in 2009.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) leaders embarked on early Monday morning picketing to ensure full compliance by members as directed by their national headquarters.

The report said that Comrade Anthony Igbinosa, the chairman of Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), University of Benin (UNIBEN) said that the strike will continue until Friday, having been satisfied with the level of compliance showed by the members.

Franklin Matthews, the chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO) also told journalists that the strike will last comprehensively for 5 days.

The JAC Chairman of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Comrade Austin Jadi, said that it was unfair for the Federal Government to be selective in addressing the problems in the University system while speaking to reporters shortly after holding an emergency meeting at the Union’s Office, Yelwa Campus.

Mr Matthews said that the union decided to go on strike following the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given to federal government to resolve unpaid earned allowances and matters concerning university staff schools and also for renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.

The JAC FUTO boss further said that the national executive councils of the two unions agreed to sanction any branch that fails to comply with the strike action.