Nigeria says striking state workers will get no pay

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 10, 2012 3:54 PM
Nigeria says striking state workers will get no pay

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's government said on Tuesday it would enforce a "no work, no pay" policy against public sector workers involved in a fuel price strike that has been ruled unlawful by the courts, ratcheting up tensions with unions.

Labor unions in Africa's top oil producer started an "indefinite" wave of strikes and street protests on Monday in an effort to force President Goodluck Jonathan to restore a subsidy on motor fuel that his administration scrapped on Jan 1.

Mobs have attacked cars attempting moving around in major cities an effort to enforce the strike.

Though the protest is allowed, a court has ruled the strike illegal because it is not an industrial dispute.

"No trade dispute has been declared ... and (there is) a clear distinction between civil protest on one hand and an industrial action or strike on the other," Attorney General Mohammed Bello Adoke said in a statement.

He added that this meant anyone working in the private or public sector was legally obliged to turn up to work.

"Necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that this is done without any form of molestation or harassment by anyone or group of persons," Adoke said.

"In the event that public servants continue to disregard the terms of their employment ... in the face of blatant disregard of a subsisting Court Order, the Government will not hesitate to enforce the "no work no pay" policy."

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Tim Cocks)