By Abdullahi M. Gulloma Abuja–
The federal government has said it would henceforThenforce the ‘no work, no pay rule’ contained in the country’s labour laws if its employees in any sector of the economy go on strike.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, disclosed this at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday in Abuja.
“The report emphasised the need for government to implement the law on no work, no pay. No work, no pay is not a rule neither is it a policy.
It is a law captured in the Trade Union Act of Laws of the Federation of Nigeria – Section 43 to be precise.
It says that workers have the right to disengage their services from their employers if there is a breakdown of negotiations but for the period that the workers do so, the employers should not pay and those periods are to be counted as non-pensionable times.
“So, council today emphasised that the law is still in place and the law should be brought to the knowledge of workers in the public sector, in the private sector especially those in the public sector.
“We have to do that because of the spate of industrial crises we suffered in the last two months where we had a plethora of strikes all over the place.
So, council is saying we shouldemphasise this to workers. On the strike embarked upon the last time, we’ll see what we can do about that,” he said.
He said henceforth collective bargaining agreement containing output of negotiations during industrial actions should be signed and domiciled in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Doing this, the minister believed, would be a departure from the norm where agreements during negotiations are not signed and officially documented in the ministry.
The minister also told journalists that the FEC had mandated him to stop those permanently serving as union leaders.
“We looked at another recommendation in terms of people who are permanently doing union activities.
They are presidents of trade unions for life. They criticise those who are trying to do third term or fourth term but they sit tight. “So, my ministry was asked to fi sh out those unions whose constitutions do not have term limit.
Such unions should be made to comply with the law so people can be elected; they serve their terms and go,” he said.