By Joan Nwagwu
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described the claim that that the Academic Staff Union of Universitiess (ASUU) is not a trade union by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan as fallacious.
Yemi-Esan had made the comment that was widely reported by the news media during the opening of the 2020/2021 Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council meeting
But while reacting to the claim in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, Aliyu Wabba, the President of NLC dismissed the claim of the HOCSF.
Wabba who maintained that ASUU is a trade union organisation in line with global best practice described the claim of the HOCSF as a misrepresentation of facts.
”For the purpose of setting the records straight, the Nigeria Labour Congress wishes to disclaim the misleading statement by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation on the status of ASUU as an organisation.
”The Academic Staff Union of Universities formed in 1978 was a successor body to the Nigerian Association of University Teachers formed in 1965.
”Since its formation, ASUU is a trade union affiliated to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
”The founding President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu currently serves as one of the National Trustees of ASUU,” he said.
The NLC president noted that the history of ASUU as a trade union has been that of struggles.
He added that the shining badge in the antecedents of ASUU is the commitment of the union to fight for the interests of its members and those of the ordinary Nigerian.
He also said that the persistent demand and activism by ASUU for wage and social justice has seen the union and its members come under very heavy shellacking by successive governments in Nigeria.
”It is truly sad that such a pan-Nigerian and progressive union composed of some of the very best intellectuals in Nigeria could be easily dismissed as not being a trade union by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
”Whatever Dr Yemi-Esan wants to achieve with such a fallacious claim is difficult to discern.
”We implore the Academic Staff Union of Universities, which has been the intellectual backbone of Organised Labour and workers in Nigeria, to ignore the disparaging claims by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
”Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan is not well informed of the claims she made as she is not a competent authority to assert on trade union registration and indeed ancillary trade union concerns in Nigeria,” he said.
He further urged Nigerian workers and other well-meaning members of the public to ignore the comments. (NAN)