Fuel Price Strike: FG Threatens Labour Leaders With Arrest

The federal government has threatened to wield the big stick on labour union officials who try to coerce workers to participate in the planned industrial action slated for today, Wednesday, May 18, 2016.
Secretary to the government of the federation, David Babachir Lawal stated this Tuesday night in Abuja following an unproductive parley it held with the Ayuba Waba-led faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC.
The faction had vowed to go ahead with its planned strike today.
“We had full cooperation with the Trade Union Congress TUC and they said they are not going on strike. For them, it is a complete return to work tomorrow. It is not the same with the NLC, however,” a press statement signed by Babachir Lawal’s.
“They have two factions. One agreed completely with the position of the TUC. A faction of the NLC, however, decided that unless government decides to look at the issue of the highest ceiling on the cost of petrol they would have no further participation in the process and since we only received a notice from them on Saturday, it is government’s position that it is not humanly possible to respond to their demands within the time-frame given.
“Government has informed them that it cannot respond to their demands as presented.
“Aside from the NLC, a number of individual affiliate unions had long indicated that they would not participate in the strike.”
The full press release from the federal government is below:
The attention of all Public Officers is drawn to the notice issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, 18th May, 2016. This notice is regrettably given in spite of an Order by the Industrial Court against the strike action.
2. 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.
3. 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.”
4. 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.
Engineer Babachir David Lawal
Secretary to the Government of the Federation

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