The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has embarked on a nationwide strike in protest against the hike in the price of petrol and electricity tariffs by the Federal Government.
The congress, had on Saturday, warned the government to revert the increase, vowing an indefinite strike from today, Wednesday until their demands were acceded.
Recall that after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, held yesterday at the NLC headquarters in Abuja, the Union resolved to embark on the strike starting from 12am today.
At about 9AM, leaders of the NLC marched from Labour House in central district of Abuja to the federal secretariat, where the president of the congress, Aliyu Wabba, addressed workers.
“A procession of unionists and workers, decked in t-shirts and displaying flags, is to move to the Berger Junction in Abuja, and will continue every day until the government rescinds its decision,” Mr. Wabba said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government in a statement issued late Tuesday, reminded workers of the no-pay, no work rule and the ruling by the Industrial Court.
The industrial court had yesterday, restrained the NLC from embarking on the industrial action, until the petition filed by the Attorney General of the Federation was looked into.
But the recent order issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, ordered Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies to enforce the directive and open attendance registers in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“This notice is regrettably given in spite of an order by the Industrial Court against the strike.
“All workers, whether in public or private sector, are reminded of the Trade Dispute Act, 2004 which provides:
“‘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.”
“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,” he said.