The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday registered their dismay over the decision of the Edo Government to ban staff union activities in the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Dr Cyril Onogbosele, Chairman, Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma chapter of the ASUU on Thursday, said there was no basis for government’s action.
The state government at its executive council meeting on Wednesday in Benin banned staff unions in all its higher institutions following lingering industrial action by the ASUU at the AUU
The industrial action led to a mass protest by the students, who claimed the strike was having an untold disruption in the academic programme.
The unions affected by the ban are the ASUU and Non-Academic Staff of Universities, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities.
Others are Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and all allied unions operating across all state-owned tertiary institutions.
But Mr Ogbonosele said the suspension of the unions is a breach on the freedom of association which he said is a fundamental right.
“We are studying it and want to tell government that this is not the way to go.
“If a union is on strike over issues, you engage the union on how to resolve them not to ban its activities because the union is a body recognised by law and our strike is lawful.
“We follow due processes in declaring strike. Banning the union activities is not the way,” he said.
He said alleged that students protest, which the state government justified for the ban, was orchestrated by the university administration.
On the plan to enforce no-work, no-pay policy on lecturers who refuses to resume, the ASUU chairman said it was anti-labour.
“It is an anti-labour policy because in labour law the right of employees to protest when they are not well treated by the employer is guaranteed.
“So if they withdraw their services because of the failure of the employer to do the right the employer should do is not to adopt no-work, no-pay policy, but to engage them on how to resolve it.
“So it is anti-labour, it is not the right thing to do,” he said.