Ekiti varsity workers protest mass retrenchment

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  • WORKERS of the Ekiti State University, Ado- Ekiti on Monday paralysed academic activities, following the dismissal of over 900 members of staff.

WORKERS of the Ekiti State University, Ado- Ekiti on Monday paralysed academic activities, following the dismissal of over 900 members of staff.

The institution on December 5 sacked over 900 workers who were alleged to have been illegally employed between 2016 and 2017, during the tenure of former governor Ayodele Fayose.

Discrepancies were said to have been found in the certificates of some of the affected workers, while others were found not to possess the requisite certificates from the primary school level.

The lecturers, who protested within and outside the campus, blocked the entrance gate at about 7:45am, chanting solidarity songs.

The protesters barricaded major roads and prevented vehicles from either leaving or entering the campus.

The workers, who were led by union leaders in the institution under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, carried placards and chanted solidarity songs.

The demonstrators included members of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Academic of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

The workers besieged the administrative building where other members of staff were chased out.

Addressing reporters, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman in Ekiti State, who is also the SSANU Chairman in the institution, Mr. Kolawole Olatunde, said the struggle would be a fight to the finish between Labour and the management.

He said the management action was uncivilised and inhuman.

Other Labour leaders said that the sack of over 900 workers was an act of wickedness, adding that the reasons for the retrenchment were flimsy.

They threatened to continue the protest until the management rescinds its decision.

The Labour leaders urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to call on the institution’s authority to reverse the decision, in order to guarantee industrial harmony.

The leadership SSANU, NASU and NAAT under the auspices of Joint Action Committee (JAC) have been advised to maintain decorum while making their demands.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Edward Olanipekun, gave the advice while reacting to the action of the unions to drive workers out of their offices after their joint congress meeting yesterday.

He said the management would not allow the unions to take the law into their hands by preventing those with legitimate businesses on campus to transact their businesses.

Olanipekun said: “There are laid down procedures to be followed under the labour law in particular if staff unions want to withdraw their services, which have not been followed in this case by JAC.”

He condemned a situation where law-abiding workers were chased out of their offices and described the action as unethical.

The vice chancellor appealed to workers and students to go about their activities, warning that the leadership of JAC would be held responsible in the event of any breakdown of law and order in the university community.

The Nation
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