Senator Chris Ngige on Monday reminded trade unions in the country that
there was nothing like warning strike in the nation’s industrial
relations circles, warning that the government may be forced to invoke
the no work no pay rule on striking workers.
The Minister said in accordance with the nation’s labor laws, a
strike is a strike and is subject to all the rules governing strike in
the world of work and appealed to members of the non-teaching staff of
universities to call off their five-day warning strike and embrace the
channels of dialogue already opened by the government.
In a statement personally signed last night and made available to
newsmen, Senator Ngige said the government was committed to the full
resolution of issues affecting the workers, pointing out that a meeting
called by the government to discuss the issues had to be rescheduled at
the instance of the unions.
The statement reads: “I wishes to appeal to the National Association of
Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non – Academic Staff Union of Educational
and Associated Institutions (NASU), and Senior Staff Association of
Nigerian Universities (SSANU) who have jointly declared intention to
embark on a 5 – day warning strike effective January 16, 2017 to suspend action in the interest of the nation.
“I wish to assure that the Federal Government is ready and willing to
fully dialogue with the members of these Trade Unions, operating under
the umbrella of Joint Action Committee.
The Government has already
opened an unhindered channel of communication with all Stakeholders and
shall maintain this.
“Today (Monday), January 16, 2017,
I convened a meeting of all stakeholders in dispute for us to ventilate
all issues and reach an amicable settlement. Unfortunately, the Trade
Unions requested for a different date, and the meeting now re-scheduled
for Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
“The Federal Government, therefore expects that the Trade Unions should
suspend the strike before the re-scheduled meeting to make way for untrammeled discussions.
“It is important for Trade Unions to embrace social dialogue in the
pursuit and attainment of the economic and social interests of their
members anchored on equity and natural justice.
“I hence thought it necessary to remind the Trade Unions that there is
nothing like a “warning strike” in our National Industrial Relations
System (NIRS) – a strike is a strike and is subject to all the rules
governing strike in the world of work.
“Accordingly, the provisions of Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act,
CAP. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004, will apply
regarding the law of “no work no pay by workers/employees
notwithstanding any other circumstances in any section of the Act.”
“Once more, I wish to appeal to the trade unions to embrace dialogue as
the Federal Government is fully committed to peaceful resolution of what
the unions termed “Full Implementation of 2009 FGN/Non – Teaching Staff