EDO, Nigeria – The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University (AAU) chapter, Ekpoma have expressed worry over alleged harassment and intimidation of leaders of staff unions and disrespect of trade unions by the University management.
They allege that the University management recently deployed a team of policemen to the school gate to prevent them from reporting for duty and even for essential services.
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Chapter Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Monday Igbafen in a statement made available to journalists in Benin City, the state capital on Thursday said the union is disturbed by the resurgence of the act of intimidation of staff unions in the University.
According to him, ‘It is an accepted fact that it is wrong and illegal for representatives of any union to harass people who are non-members at the gate and prevent them from reporting for duty.” Igbafen said.
‘It is unjustifiable for the University administration to invite the police to harass representatives of staff unions in the institution who are enforcing the directive or resolution of their unions.
‘This is an unfortunate event and is unacceptable, this amounts to the militarisation of affairs of the administration of the university. ”
Reacting to the allegation, the University spokesman, Edward Aihevba, said ASUU and others involved have consistently been critical of the institution’s efforts in implementing government directives as regards staff reporting for duty during the lockdown.
‘Staff on levels 1-12 in the civil service (1-11 in the university) are required to work from home, while other staff on level 12 and above including those on essential services are required to report for work daily with total adherence to social distancing and other preventive guidelines as spelt out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and WHO’
Aihevba while calling for caution urged the union leaders to note that all disputes or grievances are usually resolved at the negotiation table, adding that the University would not tolerate representatives of any union harassing people at the gate and preventing them from reporting for duty.
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