President of the Nigeria Labour Congress Ayuba Philibus Wabba leads anti-government protesters during a march in Abuja. recently. PHOTO: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
• Threatens to report FG over law at ILO
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed its affiliates to mobilise for a nationwide strike commencing November 6.
A communique yesterday by its president and general secretary, Ayuba Wabba, and Peter Ozo-Eson, after an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja advised Nigerians to stockpile food items in the event that the Federal Government fails to initiate the process for a new minimum national wage.
However, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has ruled out resumption of further negotiations by the tripartite committee.
The Director General-designate, Timothy Olawale, told The Guardian that what could be done at this point was to agree on a figure, believing that such could be achieved before the deadline.
Labour condemned the ‘no work, no pay’ clause in the Trade Disputes Act, noting that the right to strike was both human and trade union rights that could not be abridged, as it distinguishes a worker from a slave.
The NLC also enjoined government to uphold the principles of the rule of law, fairness, equity and justice in all dealings.
The union declared that the law would not deter it from embarking on strikes when necessary.
The organised labour urged workers to disregard government’s directive, stressing that they were already impoverished on account of backlog of salaries.
According to the NLC, government had allegedly designed a template to influence the tenure of some union executives, thus constituting interference in their internal affairs and contravening Articles 3, 4 and 8 of ILO Convention 87.
Besides, the labour centre threatened to report the Federal Government to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) over the law. It described the white paper as an infringement.
Vowing not to abide by the policy, labour described the rule as a return to the dark days of fascism.
According to it, “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.
“NEC also demanded that government upholds the principles of the rule of law, fairness, equity and justice.”
NLC continued: “NEC, accordingly resolved that the threat of ‘no work, no pay’ will not deter it from embarking on strikes when necessary, as it has always complied with legal requirements precedent and will always comply with those requirements.”