Ayuba Wabba, NLC President
The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) has threatened to report the Federal Government to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) over its White Paper on “No work, no pay’’ policy.
This was part of the resolutions in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the NLC National Executive Council (NEC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
The communique was signed by NLC President and General Secretary Ayuba Wabba, and Dr Peter-Ozo-Eson.
They described the White Paper as an assault to Organised Labour.
The communique stated that the NLC NEC had resolved not to be bound by the latest White Paper by Federal Government against labour, describing it as an illegality and a throwback to the dark days of fascism which Organised Labour successfully confronted.
Wabba said that the NEC condemned the government for its design/plan to clamp down on Labour via selective and erroneous invocation of the ‘no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act.
“The right to strike is both a human and trade union right and cannot be abridged as it is what distinguishes a worker from a slave.
“There is nothing new about this clause as it has been in our statutes for over 40 years.
“The NEC also demanded that the government uphold the principles of the rule of law, fairness, equity and justice by invoking “no pay, no work’’.
“The NEC, accordingly, resolved that the threat of “no work, no pay” will not deter it from embarking on strike, when necessary, as it has always complied with legal requirements precedent and will always comply with those requirements.”
He said the NEC also resolved to advise the Federal Government to shelve its White Paper or risk being reported to the ILO.
According to him, the NEC urged Nigerian workers to disregard government’s directive on “no work, no pay” as they were already being impoverished and owed arrears of salaries.
Wabba said that the NEC also observed that government’s design to influence the tenure of union executives and membership of unions’ negotiating teams, constituted a direct interference in the internal affairs of the unions.
He said the NEC noted that this was in direct contravention of the Articles 3, 4 and 8 of ILO Convention 87, which Nigeria signed since 1960.
He said the NEC also “debunked, rejected and condemned”claims by the Minister of Labour and Employment in the media that negotiations were still ongoing on the issue of a New National Minimum Wage which implementation was already long overdue.
The NLC president added that the NEC also resolved to organise a national day of mobilisation and sensitisation rallies for all workers.
“This is in order for workers to show their outrage and mourning in the 36 states of the federation and FCT on Tuesday, 30th October, 2018.
“The day will also be used to educate and sensitise Nigerians on the horrendous plight of workers and pensioners; the insensitivity and duplicity of government on labour issues.
“Workers would also protest over the proposed obnoxious policies of government against Organised Labour,” he said.
He said the NEC also resolved to hold joint meetings of the Central Working Committees (CWCs) of all the Labour Centres on Nov. 2, 2018.
He said the NEC noted that the meeting would be for final preparations for a full engagement with government on the National Minimum Wage.
“The communique serves as formal notice to government that the NLC will commence an indefinite national industrial action from Nov. 6, 2018.
“Uless the government accepts and commences the process of perfecting the payment of N30, 000 as the negotiated and compromise New National Minimum Wage on or before that date.
“In furtherance of this, NEC directs all affiliate unions, state councils, civil society allies, the informal sector and other friends of workers and lovers of democracy to commence immediate mobilization of their members.
“The NEC advised Nigerians to start stocking food and other necessities as workers will ensure a total shut down of the country,” Wabba added.