Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) has condemned the suspension of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) branch and dissolution of the branch leadership by the national leadership.
The union, which described the action of the national leadership as undemocratic, said the suspension came at a time the branch was waging a struggle for better pay against the university authorities.
The group, in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Chinedu Bosah, called on the national leadership of SSANU to reinstate the OAU branch and the leadership and give active support for workers demands. This, according to the group, is the only way the national leadership will amend an already-bad situation.
“We are aware that the SSANU OAU branch leadership has been struggling for better welfare of its members and the OAU management has refused to meet their demands. We are also aware that SSANU national leadership has taken actions aimed at undermining the struggle of its members. Instead of the national leadership to give active support to its members at the branch, it has collaborated with the University authorities to undermine workers’ struggle.
“For instance, it is unnecessary to suspend the leadership of the branch when they are engaging the management in a struggle. More worrisome is the fact that SSANU national leadership signed a joint statement through its Vice President with National Universities Commission (NUC) and Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), disclaiming the workers’ congresses and calling on the authorities to enforce the suspension order.
“This open support for the management has placed your members at a disadvantaged position and equally placed your members vulnerable to attacks. Immediately after the OAU authorities secured the support of the national leadership, it has begun attacking workers in order to behead the struggle. A case study was the transfer of the branch chairman of SSANU to Ibadan.
“Even at a point of disagreement between the branch and the national leadership, it is anti-workers for SSANU leadership to take side with the management and to carry out measures against workers. Attempt to criminalise strike action democratically agreed upon and prosecuted by the workers at the branch amounts to helping the management to fight workers,” the statement added.