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NLC to mediate on strike in varsities

…dissociates self from Aremu’s statement

By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Henry Umoru

ABUJA – NIGERIA  Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday said its leadership was reaching out to government to ensure that the ongoing industrial action by three of its affiliates, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Related Institutions (NASU) was resolved.

NLC in a statement however said, should its mediation fail, it would  not hesitate to call a meeting of Central Working Committee (CWC) and National Executive Council (NEC)  to deliberate on the best way to give solidarity support to the unions engaged in this action.

Reacting to comments credited to one of its Vice-President, Comrade Issa Aremu, where he was quoted as saying members of ASUU had over used the strike action, in the  statement by its General Secretary, Comrade John Odah, NLC said Comrade Aremu was on his own.

According to NLC: “We wish to state that the view expressed in the said public lecture were the personal views of Comrade Issa Aremu and not that of Nigeria Labour Congress.

The Nigeria Labour Congress, as a responsible Central Labour Organisation with its 37 affiliates, has a refined process of relating with its affiliates.  Where the need arises for Congress to have conversation with one of its affiliates, it is certainly not done through public lectures.

NLC is involved in an ongoing consultation with all parties involved to try and find a resolution to the crisis of the strikes of the 3 unions  and it cannot therefore carry out such a disparaging position against one of its affiliates.

For the record, NLC is in touch with government to get them to return to the negotiation table with ASUU, NASU and SSANU as we believe that even in war; ultimate resolutions are found on the negotiation table.

The NLC has refrained from making public statements on the strike because we felt that will not serve the course of trying to mediate in the dispute so that we can resolve it and have our children return to their schools.

It was in pursuit of this that the NLC President held meetings with the Leadership of the 3 unions on Wednesday 26th August, 2009 at Congress Headquarters in Abuja, in which the Presidents of all three unions were in attendance.  At the meeting we charted a path in trying to resolve this issue and the Congress Leadership was mandated to reach government at the highest level to try to break the impasse.”


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