The Joint Action Committee of the three non – academic staff unions of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, (FUTO) have threatened to shut down the institution if the university authorities continue to intimidate to members of the Labour Unions in the ongoing nationwide strike.
The unions include Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities ( SSANU), Non- Academic Staff Union( NASU) and the National Association of Technologist Staff ( NATS), alleged that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, FUTO chapter has been trying to sabotage the industrial action by colluding with the management to carry out functions outside its schedule.
The Chairman of JAC, Comrade Ibeji while addressing Journalists Monday at the University, premises said that they would ground the University by cutting off electric supply to both the Student’s Hostels and lecture theatres as well as the withdrawal of all security staff employed by the university.
Nwokoma said the Unions have been demanding to know from the Federal Government how members of the Academic Staff Union got N18 Billion of N23 Billion of earned allowances for all the staff of the Federal Universities while the three Unions got only N4 Billion.
He said, ” If the Federal government said it is earned allowances then we should be paid ours. This is because our sister Union the ASUU had hijacked the payment with the assistance of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and I can tell you that we are not going to back down from the industrial strike until we got our own earned allowances which is N66 Billion”
Speaking in the same vein, Franklin Matthews, Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities ( SSANU) ,said , ” we thought that the Federal Government should have called on the national leadership of the Union to settle this matter but instead they have remained recalcitrant. All the agreement reached with the Federal Government none has been implemented especially in addressing the salary Short fall.
He therefore disclosed that, the management of the university has been intimidating members of the union by forcing them to come to work or be sacked. “So, we are here at the gate of the Senate building to ensure that members of the union comply with the industrial action. If the Federal Government pay us our earned allowances this industrial action will be called off by the national leadership of the union, but until then we will continue”.
The Chairman of NASU, Elemoh Moses, accused f the University management of using members of the Academic staff Union to issue admissions to students, running the ICT centre and putting students in hostels.
“The University management is now using members of the Academic staff Union to issue admissions to students, putting students in hostels, running of the ICT centre. The management is also planning for matriculation .So, ASUU is not been used to carry out functions by the university for which they were not employed to do. But we are going to totally ground the university by stopping electricity supply , water and the withdrawal of security staff employed by the university until our just demand is met by the Federal Government”.
Val Okara, Owerri