The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government so that the polytechnics across the country are not shut indefinitely.
The union’s National President, Mr Anderson Ezeibe, made the call on Wednesday after declaring a two-week strike, which would commence from May 16, 2022.
Ezeibe said ASUP took the decision after an emergency National Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday.
A statement signed by Ezeibe and titled, ‘Status update of the ASUP/ Federal Government of Nigeria engagement; and resolutions of the emergency National Executive Council meeting of ASUP held on May 11, 2022,’ read, ”Following exhaustive deliberations, on the update as outlined above, the emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council has resolved that members should withdraw their services in a two-week industrial action with effect from Monday, May 16, 2022.
“We are deploying this medium to equally appeal to members of the public to prevail on the government to do the needful within the two weeks period so as to avoid an indefinite shut down of the sector.”
Ezeibe, in an interview with The PUNCH, explained that the four-week notice of strike that the union gave the Federal Government to meet its demands began on April 4, 2022 and ended on May 4, 2022.
He explained that when the union’s ultimatum expired, ASUP NEC reconvened on Wednesday to review the response of the government to the ultimatum, particularly as it affected relevant agencies/functionaries of government.
“Within the period of the ultimatum, the union met with the National Board for Technical Education to review the grievances with a view to resolution.
“Another meeting fixed at the instance of the Minister of Education (after the expiration of the ultimatum) failed to meet basic requirements for collective bargaining.
“Our union stayed away from the meeting as it was not structured to address the issues in dispute. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment only acknowledged receipt of the union’s ultimatum and made no attempts at conciliation.”
He also said the union was being “considerate by declaring just two weeks strike.”