As Nigerians wait with bated breath whether the national strike of workers slated to begin Tuesday will hold or not, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has set the bad ball rolling with the commencement of its own nationwide industrial action.
Shivers swept through the country over an impending fuel scarcity after the powerful National Union of Petroleum and Gas workers (NUPENG) gave a backing to the strike at the weekend.
Now fears of a blackout have been added to the mix as electricity workers joined the fray
ASUU says the federal government has turned a deaf ear to its demands, even as many wonder if the organised Labour will obey a National Industrial Court order to stand down on its strike beginning tomorrow (Tuesday).
Labour said at the weekend it had not seen the order and would go ahead. National Labour Congrss (NLC) leader, Ayuba Wabba, said that at the close of the meeting of Chairmen and Secretaries of affiliate unions, no court order was seen.
The National Union of Electricity Employers (NUEE) has called out its members for the strike action, even as its General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, warned company managements that any that attempts to thwart the strike should be ready for the consequences after the strike action.
The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) upped the ante and advised the flying public to avoid or cancel all plans to travel by air.
It also said the strike action will include workers in businesses associated with the aviation sector.
ASUU accused the government of reneging on the implementation of the Memorandum of Action signed with it, adding that teachers in state universities would join the strike.
At the close of its National Executive Council meeting at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, the National President of the ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the strike was inevitable because the Federal Government would not honour overtures made to it.
He alleged that government was not bothered with public universities because the children and wards of the rich and top politicians were in private universities.
“Having waited patiently for action and meaningful negotiation with reasonable men using the principle of collective bargaining that ASUU at its NEC meeting of 3rd and 4th November 2018 at the FUTA, resolved to resume the nationwide strike action it suspended in September 2017 with immediate effect.
“This strike will be total, comprehensive and indefinite. Our members shall withdraw their services until government fully implements all outstanding issues as contained in the MOA of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.
“We have today (Sunday) been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonisation under alleged democracy in which all that the ruling circle have been regrouping among themselves in their various faction they called political parties.”
Meanwhile, the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC), and United Labour Congress (ULC) called workers out on strike because government was unwilling to pay a N30,000 monthly minimum wage it agreed with it in tripartite negotiations.
State governors offered N22,500 per month, but organised Labour would have none of it.