ASUU strike: lawyers back FG’s no-work-no-pay pronouncement

Abuja—Some lawyers have explained that the no-work-no-pay pronouncement of the federal government against striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is legal.  

This is after the minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Thursday, during the deadlocked federal government and ASUU meeting, said workers would lose their salaries for the period they were on strike. 

But according to Daily Trust, ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview with the newspaper reacted that lecturers would not process the outstanding two sets of students now waiting for admission in the universities if their arrears were not paid after the strike.   

However, some lawyers reacting to the federal government’s comment argued that the no-work-no-pay policy was valid and is contained in the Trade Union Act, 2005.  

Section 43(1) (a) reads: “Where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wage or other remunerations 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 the continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly.”  

Yusuf Buhari, a lawyer, said that even if there was no such law, in every employment, there must be an agreement that spells out the terms.   

“If you are going on strike, there must be a corresponding right to withhold your salaries. Such agreements are legal and binding in law,” he said.  

Also, Hamid Ajibola Jimoh submitted that the provision of sections 43(1)(a) and (b) of the Trade Union Act does not criminalise strikes but establishes that the striking workers would not be entitled to pay.   

Similarly, E.M.D. Umukoro said the Trade Union Act remained the enabling law until “it is repealed or struck down by the courts.”

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