Henceforth, federal workers will not be paid when on strike

Ngige

 

The federal government has approved the implementation of no work, no pay principle when workers go on strike.

The federal executive council (FEC) issued the approval during its weekly meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and productivity, said the report of the technical committee on industrial relations matters in the federal public service was adopted at the meeting.

Ngige said the public service in Nigeria is facing numerous problems, prompting the inauguration of the committee in August 2016.

“FEC in turn, empanelled a committee of ten which I chaired to do a government draft white paper on those contentious areas that the technical committee had looked at,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“These contentious areas are enforcement of section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act Law of the Federation 2004 which deals with lock out of workers by their employers without declaring redundancy appropriately.

“Because in some establishments, especially in the private sector, workers are locked out by their employers; so the law there says that if you lock your workers without passing through the normal channel-due process.

“For the period of the lock out, the worker is assumed to be at work and will receive all the remunerations and allowances, benefits accruing to him for the period and that period will also be counted for him as a pensionable period in the computation of his pension.

“But when workers go on strike, the principle of no-work-no-pay will also apply because that principle is enshrined in the same section 43 of the Labour Act.’’

According to Ngige, the section says that for the period a worker withdraws his/her services, government or employers are not entitled to pay.

The minister also said the period for which the worker was absent would not count as part of the pensionable period in public service.

He said the national industrial court had made a pronouncement on the law.

Ngige said another area considered was the issue of public servants remaining permanently in the executive bodies of trade unions.

“Government realises that some persons in the public service go into trade union executive positions; hold offices; and they do that for life; for as long as they are in the service,” he said.

“In doing so, they will refuse postings and deployments under the guise that are doing trade union activities; government says no.

“Government has also said that there must tenure stipulations because people stay there without tenure; many organisations give people union positions without tenure; government says there is no office that does not have tenure.’’

Ngige said henceforth, trade unions should present constitutions that must have tenures — “at least, maximum of two tenures for any elective position”. (NAN)

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