NLC Notice Of Strike Disregarded The Order Of The National Industrial Court. – Nigerian Government.
President Bola Tinubu’s government has condemned the Nigeria Labour Congress’ strike notice as being in contempt of a court order. The NLC issued a notice to go on a nationwide strike on August 2.
Specifically, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, the solicitor-general of the federation and permanent secretary of the federal ministry of justice, said the notice disregarded the order of the National Industrial Court.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday. She drew the attention of the NLC and the public to the pendency of suit number NICN/ABJ/158/2023 (FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA & ANOR V. NIGERIAN LABOUR CONGRESS & ANOR) before the court.
“His Lordship, J Anuwe, had on June 5, 2023, granted an injunctive order restraining NLC and Trade Union Congress from embarking on the planned industrial action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the pending motion on notice,” said the federal government.
It added, “The motion on notice is also praying for an order of interlocutory injunction for parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the dispute or issues submitted to the court, and the said Motion on Notice is still pending.”
The government noted that the issues of removal of fuel subsidy, hike in petrol prices, and consequential increase in the cost of living, etc., which precipitated the court action, are the same issues over which NLC issued another strike notice.
“The NLC has submitted to the jurisdiction of the court and is being represented by the reputable law firm of Femi Falana, SAN. It is, therefore, our minimum expectation that NLC will allow the courts to perform their constitutional roles rather than resorting to self-help and undermining the orders of the court,” argued the government.
The statement lamented that the “avowed penchant” of the union’s leadership for casting aspersions on the judiciary “is quite worrisome and concerning.”
It said Mr Tinubu and governors had been engaging with stakeholders to cushion the collateral effect of the fuel subsidy removal and petrol price hike.
“It would be a great act of service to Nigerian workers and the nation’s economy for NLC to explore negotiations rather than embark on any strike action. We, therefore, urge NLC to allow good reason to prevail by adhering to the time-tested principles of lis pendis and rule of law to avert adverse consequences,” the federal government stressed.
On June 5, the NIC restrained NLC and TUC from going on strike to protest the subsidy. In a ruling that Justice O.Y. Anuwe delivered, the court barred the unions from going on strike, pending the determination of a suit brought by the federal government.