The Federal Government (FG) has vowed to take a tough stance by implementing the “no work, no pay” principle if the organized labour goes on another strike.
This was disclosed by Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, said this while addressing the media on Wednesday after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over the meeting.
He further disclosed the approval was a sequel to the adaptation of the Draft White Paper on the Report of the Technical Committee on Industrial Relations Matters in the Federal Public Service.
The Minister said the public service is riddled with problems ergo, different administrations set up various committees and brought out circulars in an attempt to reverse the tide of industrial actions.
Ngige continued with the disclosure of the technical committee, which was inaugurated on April 27, 2016, did their job and submitted to the FEC on October 2017.
“FEC, in turn, empanelled a committee of ten which I chaired to do a government Draft White Paper on those contentious areas that the technical committee had looked at.
“These contentious areas are enforcement of section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act Law of the Federation 2004; this is the section that deals with the lockout of workers by their employers without declaring redundancy appropriately.
“Because in some establishments, especially in the private sector, workers are locked out by their employers; so the law there says that if you lock your workers without passing through the normal channel-due process.
“For the period of the lockout, the worker is assumed to be at work and will receive all the remunerations and allowances, benefits accruing to him for the period and that period will also be counted for him as a pensionable period in the computation of his pension.
“But when workers go on strike, the principle of no-work-no-pay will also apply because that principle is enshrined in the same section 43 of the Labour Act”.
“Government realises that some persons in the public service go into trade union executive positions; hold offices, and they do that for life; for as long as they are in the service.
“In doing so, they will refuse postings and deployments under the guise that are doing trade union activities; government says no.
“You have to be a public servant first before you become a trade unionist; therefore, if you are there; the public service rules will also apply to you.
“And in doing so, the government says establishments will look at the issues and give it a human face in order not to disrupt trade unionism.
“And in furtherance to this, the government has also said that there must tenure stipulations because people stay there without tenure; many organisations give people union positions without tenure; government says there is no office that does not have tenure”.
The minister also reiterated the stance of the FG with respect to the minimum wage which is pegged at N24,000 per month.
He said once minimum wage was fixed, any organisation or state that had the capacity to pay more could do that.
Ngige cited that Edo, Delta and Lagos states paid their workers more than the current N18,000 national minimum wage.