Ngige faults Falana’s stance on ‘no work, no pay’ rule

Minister of Labour Senator Chris Ngige has faulted human rights lawyer Femi Falana’s (SAN) stance on implementation of the “No work, no pay” policy of the Federal Government.

He said every employer has the right to withdraw pay for workers while on strike in accordance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions and the Nigeria labour laws.

The minister also directed that the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Ministry of Education and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will henceforth take place in his office, adding that all further discussions outside the ministry should stop

The minister, in a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Press, Samuel Olowokoore, said he was invoking his power as the chief conciliator of the Federation to take over negotiation between the union and the government.

On Falana’s assertion, the statement said: “Nigeria is a member of the ILO, a United Nations (UN) specialised agency dealing with labour issues and whose aim is to promote the right at work for employees and employers, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

“It is important to state that Nigeria has also ratified and domesticated about eight core conventions of the ILO out of which two are most related in the instant dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria. These are the rights to freedom of association and organisation as well as the right to Collective Bargaining.

“Based on these conventions, the ILO recognises the rights of the workers to strike. However, it also recognises the reciprocal rights of employers to withdraw wages during strike. This is the anchor for ‘No work, no pay’.

“This has also necessitated the Nigerian Parliament (National Assembly) to legislate this into a law through the provision in section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act Cap T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.”

On the negotiation with ASUU, the statement said: “The minister in the exercise of his powers in Section 5 of the Trade Dispute Act has re-apprehended the dispute and invited all parties to a meeting. By this, all further discussions between the Ministry of Education and ASUU will now recommence at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

“A meeting has been convened for Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Conference Room of the Minister of Labour and Employment by 4 p.m. prompt.”


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