Workers at the state-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic (RUGIPO) on Friday proceeded on an indefinite strike after the management failed to meet their demands to be paid the 11 months salary arrears owed them.
The workers under the aegis of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) had met during an enlarged Congress on Thursday to unanimously voted for the industrial action.
In a communique the two unions presented to newsmen after the Congress, the workers said they can no longer endure the excruciating pains and agony in which they have been subjected for ages.
They added that the workers have not enjoyed promotion in the last three years, while the 2018 promotion exercise done in 2021 had no financial benefit.
The communique was appended by the NASU Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Adebayo Obayoriade and Comrade Ademujimi as well as the SSANIP Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Chris Olowolade and Comrade Akinyemi Ojo.
Apart from this, the workers alleged the management of not remitting the bank loan repayment and cooperative societies’ deductions from staff to the appropriate account.
“Worse still capitalization of interest of mere N15m on this bank loan is now capitalized to a whooping N188m.”
The workers who appreciated all the stakeholders that have intervened in the impasse at the institution in the last few years, noting that all the necessary process before declaring a total strike had been embarked upon.
They appealed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to give the institution a special intervention fund that would augment the backlog of salaries owed them, adding that the subvention of the institution needs to be increased.
While saying that the strike is indefinite, the workers cautioned the RUGIPO management not to intimidate any of its members.
They recalled that the management had suspended the institution’s Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) as well as dismissed and demoted some staff.
“The unions also note that composition of the council is still incomplete as congregation was not observed, which means that the council is not inclusive of any members of staff as the representatives of the workforce. This is discordant with Polytechnic Acts.
“The unions berate the dismissal of Comrade Rafiu Ijawoye and the suspension of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP). We urge the management and the union to settle out of court and reinstate ASUP.
“The unions have zero tolerance for intimidation, witch-hunt and victimization of workers, especially the union leaders. This is a trend that should stop.”
As the polytechnic workers proceed on indefinite strike, the union leaders said all their demands as stated in the communique remain sacrosanct but would call off the strike if the government can accede to their demands for payment of their salary arrears.