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Familiar Terrain as Nigeria’s Labour Unions Insist on Nationwide Strike Despite Court Order

Labour Unions Insist on Nationwide Strike Despite Court Order

Labour unions in Nigeria have maintained that the planned nationwide protest over the hike in the price of petrol and electricity tariff will proceed.

This was not the first time governments in Nigeria have tried to use the instrumentality of the courts to halt industrial actions, nor was it the first time labour unions in the country have disregarded such moves.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have insisted that industrial action scheduled to take off on Thursday, September 24 will proceed as planned.

The trade unions made this position known after their Thursday meeting with the federal government delegation which ended without reaching a common ground.

This position was reached by the unions despite the verdict of the National Industrial Court (NIC) restraining the planned nationwide strike.

Nigerian Sketch notes that this was a familiar terrain in labour struggles in Nigeria for the federal government to rush to court to obtain restraining orders against unions’ plans to embark on industrial actions. Unions’ response has always been to disregard the court orders and proceed with their plans.

However, the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, told journalists in Abuja that Thursday’s meeting was largely fruitful and that pending issues will be resolved on Monday, September 28.

The national president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said that another meeting was scheduled for Monday solely by the government.

“We were not the one that adjourned the meeting; the government adjourned it till Monday. Monday is the expiration of the ultimatum and we are still very much focused on that. It is a deadlock now.

“Of course, that (adjournment) will not stop the action that has been put in place. We have told them to reverse or to suspend, while the discussion goes on Monday. So, labour is left with no option but to go our way.”


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