Friday, October 26, 2018 02.30PM / Otto Abasiekong of WebTV
The Nigeria Labour Congress the major trade organization in the country on October 23, 2018 held an emergency National Executive Council meeting at the National Secreteriat of the union in Abuja.
At the end of the meeting attended by members of the National Industrial Council, Presidents and Exco members of affiliate trade unions and the Chairpersons of the NLC in the 36 states and FCT, the following decisions were taken;
B. The NEC-in session after extensive deliberations Affirmed as follows:
i. The Emphasis on the "no work, no pay" clause in the Trade Disputes Act;
ii. Fixing of tenure for workers holding union executive positions in contravention of the provisions of ILO Convention 87; and,
iii. Prohibition or exclusion of non-card carrying members of trade unions from leading or being part of negotiation delegations of trade unions reminiscent of the Abacha military era.
C. The NEC-in-session based on the foregoing RESOLVED as follows:
D. In furtherance of this, NEC-in-session DIRECTED 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:
1. The NEC advised Nigerians to start stocking food and other necessities of life as workers will ensure a total shutdown of the country;
2. The NEC-in-session similarly condemned 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, noting that 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 forty years;
3. The NEC-in-session advised the government to look at the log in its eyes before picking out the speck in other people's eyes. The NEC also demanded from government to uphold the principles of the rule of law, fairness, equity and justice by invoking "no pay, no work’;
4. 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. The NEC-in-session urges Nigerian workers to disregard government's directive on “no work, no pay” because workers are already being impoverished and being owed arrears of salaries;
5. The NEC observed that government's designs to influence the tenure of union executives and membership of unions negotiating teams, constitute a direct interference in the internal affairs of the unions in direct contravention of the Articles 3, 4 and 8 of ILO Convention 87 (to which Nigeria is a signatory since 1960) which state inter alia:
i. “Workers and employers’ organizations shall have the right to draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organize their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes’;
ii. “The public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict the right or impede the lawful exercise thereof’;
iii. “Workers and employers’ organizations shall not be liable to be dissolved or suspended by administrative authority’;
iv. “The law of the land shall not be such as to impair, nor shall it be applied as to impair, the guarantees provided for in this Convention
6. Accordingly, the NEC-in-session resolved to advise Government to shelve its White Paper or risk being reported to the ILO;
7. The NEC also resolved not to be bound by the latest White Paper by government against labour as it is an illegality and a throwback to the dark days of fascism which Organized Labour successfully confronted.
In conclusion, this communiqué serves as formal notice to government that the NLC will commence an indefinite national strike and industrial actions from November 6, 2018; except 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.
Comrade Ayuba Wabbd, Ynni Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson
President General Secretary