Nigeria threatens striking workers

2012-01-11 10:34
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Nigeria protests fuel hikes

Ethnic and religious violence in Nigeria has claimed 16 more victims as a fuel strike adds to the countries deadly tension.

Abuja - The Nigerian government late on Tuesday ordered all striking workers back to work, warning that their employers would enforce a "no work, no pay policy", an official statement said.

"Members of the public who are under contractual obligations as employees in the public and private sectors are advised to respect the terms of their contract of service and report to their duty posts," Justice Mminister Mohammed Adoke said in the statement.

If public servants continue to disregard the terms of their employment "the government will not hesitate to enforce the no work, no pay policy," Adoke added.

A two-day old indefinite general strike has paralysed the country and sent President Goodluck Jonathan's government - already battling a spate of bloody attacks by the Islamist sect Boko Haram -- into crisis mode.

Analysts said the tension in Africa's top oil producer contributed to rising world oil prices, with the price of a barrel of Brent North Sea crude jumping 83c to $113.28 on Tuesday.

The government statement urged the two main labour unions - the NLC and the TUC - which called the strike to respect the orders of the National Industrial Court which on Friday restrained them from embarking on the action.

Eleven people have been killed over two days in incidents related to the strike.

The unrest started on Monday amid protests against the government's January 1 scrapping of fuel subsidies, which caused petrol prices to more than double, sparking widespread anger.

Most of Nigeria's 160 million people live on less than $2 a day.

A meeting between labour leaders and government representatives in Abuja ended late on Tuesday without a word from the unionists on ending the strike.

Organisers of the strike in Lagos, the nation's economic capital, on Tuesday told a rally attended by about 8 000 protesters that the movement would continue nationwide on Wednesday unless the government reverses its decision to scrap the fuel subsidy.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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