NLC Kicks Against FG’s ‘No-Work, No-Pay’ Policy

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has kicked against the Federal Government’s no-work, no-pay policy, describing  such policy as counter-productive.
In a statement, the NLC’s General Secretary, Comrade Peter Ozo-Eson, in Abuja last Wednesday said that the possible application of the law where  workers threaten warning strikes to their employers was antithetical to stemming industrial crises in the country.
Ozo-Eson said that the pronouncement by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on the policy” no-work, no-pay” had actually taken the congress aback and NLC finds it necessary to state that whether warning strikes were in the corpus of the Nigerian Labour laws or not, unions over the years across all climes use warning strike as a bargaining device to bring employers to negotiating table.
He said that with the device of warning strike, the Federal Government was  negotiating with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), stressing that the efficacy of warning strike cannot be in doubt to both the workers and the recalcitrant  employers.
The NLC scribe said that in the annal of labour, warning strikes had had the distinguishing feature of saving the parties in dispute the rigours, costs and pains of full-blown strike actions.
He wondered why the labour minister would be canvassing a position that is at once extreme and intolerant of further dialogue which is the mainstay of labour/Govt relations.
The NLC scribe added that labour finds it necessary to caution that a hasty resort to legal battle by the minister as a basis for conflict resolution would not be helpful.
He said that if strikes were guaranteed by the law, labour fails to see howwarning strikes can be illegal, stressing that NLC does not intend to resort to unnecessary pedantism, but quite often a literal interpretation of the law falls short of the intendment of the law.
He emphasised that warning strikes would continue to be part of labour’s  engagement with all  employers to achieve the desired goals.