The federal government has directed all ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies to invoke the provision of “no work no pay” in respect of workers who participate in the planned strike by a faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Babachir David Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation, gave the directive on Tuesday, advising workers to shun the exercise in their own interest.
Lawal also called on security agencies to beef up security and ensure that protesters do not prevent workers from gaining access to their offices.
“The attention of all public officers is drawn to the notice issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, 18th May, 2016,” he said in a statement.
“This notice is regrettably given in spite of an order by the industrial court against the strike action. Government, therefore, calls upon and advises all workers to respect the laws of the land and to desist from participating in an illegal strike action.
“Government undertakes to guarantee the safety of workers and their work places, and expects that normal work will continue in the interest of the nation. Accordingly, security agencies have been directed to ensure unimpeded access to offices, work places and markets.
“Acts of intimidation, harassment, including barricading of gates, locking up of offices, blocking of roads and preventing workers from carrying out their lawful duties will be met with appropriate response by the law enforcement agencies.
“All workers, whether in public or private sector are further reminded of the Trade Dispute Act, 2004, which provides that ‘where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike and any such period shall not count for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly.
“ Accordingly, all ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies are hereby directed to invoke the provision of ‘no work no pay’ in respect of any staff who absents him or herself from work to join the strike action. Attendance registers are required to be opened in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.”
While the Joe Ajaero-led faction says it will stay away from the exercise, Ayuba Wabba has vowed to mobilise people to protest the increase in the pump price of petrol.
Earlier on Tuesday, Babatunde Adejumo, president of the National Industrial Court, had ordered NLC to suspend action.
The judge gave the ruling following a suit filed by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF).
Adejumo ordered parties to maintain the status quo until the hearing and determination of the exparte motion.
He also directed the government to dialogue with the NLC towards an amicable resolution of the dispute.