ASUP vows to continue strike action

By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has blamed the inability of the Federal Government to meet its demands fully for continuation of its two-month-old strike.

According to the union, the N15bn infrastructure upgrade in the polytechnic sector has not been released despite FG’s pledge to do so.

It vowed it would continue the industrial action until its demands were met by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government had promised to release N15billion for the sector but ASUP argued it was not for the welfare of its members.

The union said the N15bn released by the Federal Government was only for revitalization of infrastructure in the sector.

National President of the union, Anderson Ezeibe, spoke in Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwanna, Afikpo, Ebonyi state during the union’s congress.

Ezeibe, who accused the Federal Government of being insensitive to the plight of the union, boasted the government cannot implement the no-work, no-pay policy on the striking lecturers.

He said: “The calling off of our strike is in the hands of the federal government. The issues in contention are very clear and the union is still on strike as of today. The congress today was only meant to educate our members, update them, let them get to know where we are on each of the items of the strike.

“The congress does not have the powers to review or suspend the strike. It is the responsibility of the National Executive council of the union.

“For now, the strike is in full force and you call to see that the strike is being observed in totality.

“The issue of no work, no pay is very contentious. It is very contentious because if the union has met the legal requirement before embarking on a strike, then the government cannot be on a strong legal footing to implement no work, no pay.

“If we have given all the notices that is required of us from the trade union act, given the government every ample opportunity to resolve the issues with our union, then the government cannot be standing on the both legal and moral ground to start talking about no work, no pay.

“The government in itself provided the incentive for the strike, they provided the incentive for the strike because they have neglected the sector because they refused to respond to series of letters, complaints written to them by the union spanning over one year.”

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