The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has ignored warnings from Federal Government and commenced its nationwide strike in protest of the government’s increase of petrol price and electricity tariffs. Demanding that both tariffs be reversed, and has vowed an indefinite strike from Wednesday until the government accedes to the demands.
Things fell apart at a last minute dialogue on Tuesday between the FG and the Labour union after the government said it could only consider raising salaries and other measures to cushion the impact of the fuel price hike and the Federal Government had in the early hours of today issued a statement warning labour leaders, as well as workers in both the public and private sector that it will enforce the “no work no pay” rule if they proceed on the planned strike action.
Leaders of the NLC has however defiled that order as a procession of unionists and workers, decked in t-shirts and displaying flags, began their march on Wednesday at about 9 am from Labour House in central district of Abuja to the federal secretariat, where the president of the congress, Aliyu Wabba, addressed them, stating that the strike will continue every day until the government rescinds its decision.
Earlier yesterday, the National Industrial Court (NIC) had issued a restraining order stopping the unions from embarking on the strike. Justice Babatunde Adejumo of the NIC granted the restraining order after the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami sought an ex parte application stopping the strike. The order read:
“The defendants are hereby restrained from carrying out the threat contained in their communique issued on May 14th pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed on May 16
“It is the order of this court that none of the parties shall engage in any act, conduct, overtly, covertly on this matter pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
The order created fraction between the two bodies, as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) made an official statement this morning withdrawing itself from the strike organized by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
Joint Action Front and Nigeria Labour Congress are also seen protesting on Ikorodu Road in Lagos.
More details to come later…