Academic activities at the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) have been crippled as the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), embarked on indefinite strike over unpaid allowances.
Two other unions within the institution, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) have also issued the college management a 24-hour ultimatum to meet their demands are not met.
When Daily Sun visited Yabatech campus yesterday, students were seen loitering around as lecturers stayed away from classrooms while administrative staff refused to attend to people.
The strike would affect the forthcoming examinations scheduled to commence this weekend, for students enrolled in the part-time programmes, and in three weeks, for those enrolled in the full-time programmes.
Last Wednesday, students of the institution staged a protest against the closure of the hostels by the management with less than four weeks to their examinations, forcing the college management to agree to open it before the commencement of exams.
Daily Sun learnt that the students locked the gate and protested the non-allocation of hostels to new and final year students.
Yesterday, some members of staff were seen outside in groups discussing the developement, while students watched from a distance as many left the campus for their respective homes.
The three staff unions held a joint congress yesterday at the institution’s Sports Complex and the chairmen read out their demands. The unions claimed that the Rector, Dr. Margaret Ladipo, could not produce any document to back the reduction in workers’ July salary.
The ASUP chairman, Prince Aromolaran Adeyemi said the decision to embark on the strike was taken at the congress held in July, the outcome of which was duly communicated to the college management. He disclosed that the industrial action has the blessing of its national body.
Aromolaran said when the unions kicked against the college management’s action, they were invited to a meeting by the Rector and she could not produce any circular mandating her to deduct staff allowance.
He stressed that with the strike, his members would not be part of the forthcoming exams, stating, “already our members have withdrawn their services (lectures) starting from Thursday until the college management refunds the illegal deduction.’’
SSANIP chairman, Mr. Omopariola Olorunmbe, said the body had issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the college management to refund the illegal deduction, and if, by Friday, the rector did not comply, his members would join the strike on Monday.
Mr. Olatunbosun Illesanmi, NASU chairman, also issued an ultimatum to the management and directed his members to down tools if, by today, the refund has not been effected.
Yabatech Public Relations Officer, Mr. Charles Oni, was not in his office, while efforts to reach him on his two mobile lines proved abortive as voice prompt said they were switched off.
The Rector, Dr Ladipo, and the two Deputy Rectors (Academic and Administration) were also not available for comments, neither did anybody volunteer to comment on the staff unions’ claims and the strike.