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Court to Rule on ‘No Work No Pay’ Directive against the Government Employees

Court to Rule on ‘No Work No Pay’ Directive against the Government Employees

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Enugu has adjourned for Judgment on 24th February 2021, the suit filed by the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria against the Minister for Health and the Attorney General of the Federation as 1st and 2nd Defendants respectively on the legality of their “No work no pay” directives against their striking employees. In the suit Commenced by Originating summons in Suit No NICN/EN/49/2017, the Association through their lawyer, Ike Maximus Ugwuoke, as the Claimants are challenging the validity of the No work no pay policy being used against their members by the government anytime they embark on strike action.

In the Originating summons filed by the Claimants, they are asking the Court to for the following reliefs consequent upon the questions he raised for determination.

I           A DECLARATION that the combined effect of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of  Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); Section 43 (1) of the Trade Unions Act ; Article 23(4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ; the provisions of Article 10(1) and Article 15 of the African Chatter on Human and People’s Right;  and Article 8 (1) (d) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides the legal framework for right of  workers or employees to embark on n strike in Nigeria

II          A DECLARATION that Section 40 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, gives every citizen of Nigeria (Claimants inclusive) the right to form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interest.

III         A DECLARATION that the use of Strike Action by trade unions/ associations of workers/ employees (Claimants inclusive) is one of the lawful and internationally recognized means employed by workers/ employees in their collective bargain for the protection of interest of their members.

IV         A DECLARATION that the application of Section 43 of the Trade dispute Act to  Unions/associations of workers/ employees particularly the Claimants, who embarked on strike action for the protection of the interest of their members is repugnant to or limit the operation of section 40 of the 1999 Constitution Section  and/or 43 (1) of the Trade Unions Act  and /or Article 23(4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and/or the provisions of Article 10(1) and Article 15 of the African Chatter on Human and People’s Right;  and/or Article 8 (1) (d) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

V          A Declaration that the’ No work no pay’ directive dated 2nd February 2011 issued by the 1st Defendant to Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, CEOs of Federal Health Parastatals/ Regulatory bodies is derived from Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act is purposed to penalize / victimize Members of Applicant Associations who embarked on Strike in exercise of their rights under section 40 of the 1999 constitution for the protections of the interest of their members in achieving better working condition.

  1. A DECLARATION that the 1st Defendant or the Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, CEOs of Federal Health Parastatals/ Regulatory bodies to whom they addresses the’ No work no pay’ directive dated 2nd February 2011 has no power to interpret and determine the unlawfulness of  Strike action by Members of Applicant Associations who embarked on Strike in exercise of their rights under section 40 of the 1999 constitution for the protections of the interest of their members in achieving better working condition without recourse to Court before enforcing same on the Applicants

VII        An Order of Court nullifying  the’ No work no pay’ directive dated 2nd February 2011 issued by the 1st Defendant to Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, CEOs of Federal Health Parastatals/ Regulatory bodies against the Claimants derived from Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act for being an instrument of victimization on  Members of Applicant Associations who embarked on Strike in exercise of their rights under section 40 of the 1999 constitution for the protections of the interest of their members in achieving better working condition.

VIII.      An Order of Court Directing the 1st Defendant and their agents (Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, CEOs of Federal Health Parastatals / Regulatory bodies) to pay the members of the Applicants Association all their salaries and entitlement being withheld by them pursuant to their implementation of the Directive dated 2nd February 2011 against the members of the Association which the Claimants represent.

On 2nd February 2021, Mr Ugwuoke representing the Claimants and M.S Diri Esq representing the Defendants adopted their respective addresses and argument on the case. The Honourable Court presided by Hon Justice Arowosegbe reserved Judgment on the case for 24the February 2021. This will be a novel judgment on this issue.

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