NLC, TUC, NUT vow to resist ‘no work no pay’ law

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has told the Federal Government that its policy of ‘no work no pay’ law would not hinder workers from embarking on strike whenever their rights are infringed upon.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) asked the government to meet up its obligations of ensuring that all workers were paid their entitlements as and when due. Speaking to our correspondent in Abuja yesterday, the leadership of the unions vowed to resist any policy of government that was anti-labour, as such policy intends to enslave Nigerian workers.

The Deputy President of the NLC, Comrade Peter Adeyemi, maintained that the insensitivity of government to the welfare of its workers was reason behind the spate of strike actions in the country. According to him, the various agreements entered into by government with agitating unions, was only a ploy to get the workers back to work, without intention of honouring its promise to attend to the issues raised and agreed upon. NLC said: “Government has been the cause of all strikes, it is a policy and decision-taking, surely it is not going to work.



Most of the strike actions have been the fault of government failure to fulfill its own part of the bargain. “The implementation of no work no pay will not stop the strike. Government should do what they are supposed to do because workers have not been paid salaries for eight, nine months and government is saying they will implement no work no pay.

Today, government is paying salaries in percentages. “Since November 2015, they have been paying salaries in percentages, 60%, 70%, 85% to workers in tertiary institutions, federal institutions, polytechnics, college of education, and then you say they will not go on strike.

There is no way.” The General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Dr. Mike Ike-Ene, described the enforcement of the ‘no work no pay’ policy as “an obnoxious way to kill the powers of labour leaders. According to him, “We have 19 states where our people are owed from two months to one year and somebody is saying they will implement no work no pay law. Are they now saying we no longer care for these workers?



 

 

“Government should be more reasonable and more proactive when they make certain pronouncements or are they saying workers have no right to strike when pushed to the wall?



“That pronouncement is anti-labour, it is either a way to gag the authorities of labour not to go on strike, or government wants to perpetually stop paying workers and wants to start using them like rags; it is not good.” President of the TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, said workers are left with no choice than to go on strike when government fails to pay their dues.

“The same law says that if somebody works he should be paid, but when you don’t pay that person who has worked for so many months, what is the punishment for that person?” he asked. “Strikes don’t just happen like that; it takes a process.

If there is an existing collective bargaining agreement, if one side negates on that agreement or reneges on the implementation of the agreement there will be problem,” he added.



On his part, the President of ASUP, Comrade Usman Dutse, maintained that the Federal Government does not have the moral right to hold back the entitlement of workers agitating for their right.

 

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