The Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has appealed to the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) to call off their 7-day warning strike, which started today.

Onyejeocha also expressed displeasure at the action of the unions, which she described as a total disregard of Federal Government’s concerted effort to address the concern of the unions.

She stated that the Ministry was not officially notified by the unions of their intention to proceed on a 7-day warning strike. This is contrary to the provisions of section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act.

However, when the Ministry got wind of the intended warning strike, it reached out to the leadership of the unions for an emergency meeting in order to avert the strike. Unfortunately, a physical meeting could not be arranged between the unions and the federal government, but a tele-discussion took place between their leadership and the Ministry.

Consequently, the Ministry suggested another date, Monday 18th March, for a proper conciliation meeting, believing that on the basis of that discussion, the intended strike would be put on hold pending the outcome of the meeting; but this date was rejected by the unions.

The Minister has always maintained that strike does not serve any useful purpose and should only be resorted to as a last option after exhausting every conciliation effort.

She appeals to the SSANU and NASU to step back from their hard-line stance and meet the federal government at the table for conciliation.

The Minister also appeals to all Nigerians to always take steps that are beneficial to the well-being of the country and the citizens.

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