ASUU strike: Bank workers threaten solidarity strike, nationwide shutdown

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Nigeria may experienced a total shutdown of the economy as the workers in the banking sector have issued a threat to embark on industrial action in the financial sector in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) currently on strike.

Though the workers, under the umbrella of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFIE), did not state specifically the date for their proposed industrial action, it may not be far from now.

In a statement jointly signed by the president of the union, Anthony Abakpa, and the general secretary, Mohammed Sheikh, it indicated that this may be sequel to the directive from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Most affiliates of the NLC, including National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), issued similar threats last week and are now waiting for go-ahead from the labour centre.

“However, if after one-day protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress on this issue and nothing is done, the union will have no other option than to call out all our members in banks, insurance and other financial institutions in solidarity with ASUU,” the statement has read.

The NUBIFIE leadership said it considered the lingering strike by ASUU as crude injustice being meted to the nation’s youth.

The union lamented that the youthful energies of the nation’s youth are being wasted away at home over the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government to honour contractual agreements with ASUU.

It said, “It is obvious this strike since February 14, 2022, will continue to take huge toll on the academic performance of the students, as well as psychological trauma it has imposed on both the student and the poor parents.”

The union said, since the Federal Government lacks the willpower to take the bull by the horns by fulfilling its agreements with ASUU and, having considered this heinous action as a national embarrassment, “the leadership of NUBIFIE, therefore, calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene concretely and end the ongoing strikes.”

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