Oyogist has learned that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has countered claims by the Federal Government that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not a trade union.
The union described FG’s statement as misleading and misrepresentation of facts.
On January 17, 2022 at the opening of the 2020/2021 Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council meeting, Head of the Civil Service (HoS) of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, had said ASUU is not a trade union.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement yesterday, said the HoS 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.
“For the purpose of setting the records straight, the NLC wishes to disclaim the misleading statement by the HoS of the federation on the status of ASUU as an organisation. We find this claim as a misrepresentation of facts,” he said.
NLC recalled that ASUU formed in 1978 was a successor body to the Nigerian Association of University Teachers formed in 1965 and since its formation, ASUU is a trade union affiliated to the NLC.
Wabba explained that the NLC founding president, Hassan Sunmonu, currently serves as one of the national trustees of ASUU.
According to him, The history of ASUU as a trade union has been that of struggles, “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.
“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. 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 HoS of the Federation. Whatever Yemi-Esan wants to achieve with such a fallacious claim is difficult to discern.” the statement read further.