Tension as Abia Poly workers threaten to embark on indefinite strike

The Joint Council of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), Abia State Polytechnic, Aba chapter, has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if the management of the institution carries out its threat to sack some of its members.

The council, in a joint statement after its meeting, held on August 29, 2019, at the ICT auditorium, gave management of the institution 14 days ultimatum, beginning between August 30, 2019, to September 12, 2019, to clear all outstanding 16 months salaries from May 2018 to August 2019.

They also requested that the released 2015 promotion list be given financial backing, while all outstanding promotions from 2016 to 2018 be released with the full financial commitment.

This is as they demanded that all union members’ check-off dues, duly deducted by management be fully remitted to affected unions -SANU, SSANIP and ASUP.

Congress also frowned at the withholding of Abia Polytechnic cooperative society fund, by management, which, according to them, is having an adverse financial effect on cooperators, who had saved from their personal salaries for future use.

Consequently, congress demanded that management should release this fund with immediate effect to ameliorate the sufferings of cooperators.

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Chucks Nwachukwu, chairman, SSANIP, explained that the council resolved that Abia Polytechnic management should shelve any planned downsizing of staff until all salaries are fully paid and related issues discussed and agreed upon.

“The feelers coming to us had it that management has already concluded plans, typed the letters to relieve staff of duties, dismissing, sacking and declaring them redundant in the face of 16 months unpaid salaries.

“And we are sounding it loud and clear to everybody that if Abia Poly management makes good this threat, any day, anytime and release these letters, we are going to shut down the school.

“We have put our workers, our members, appropriate government agencies, the military and paramilitary agencies in Abia on notice.

“Should the management go-ahead to do what they have threatened to do, let it be known that whatever calamity that befalls the polytechnic and its staff, the management should be held responsible.

“You cannot owe a worker 16 months of unpaid salaries and, instead of thinking of how to pay him, you are now pushing him out to go and die.

“That is very callous, and we are going to face them squarely; we are not afraid of that, because the blood of our members is being shed on a daily basis”, he added.

The statement was signed, by Nnenna Aforole, chairperson, NASU; Emmanuel Eze, secretary, NASU; Chucks Nwachukwu, chairman, SSANIP and Fred Ugboaja, secretary, SSANIP

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