Minimum wage: You can’t go on strike, court stops labour

Ezekiel Johnson
Ezekiel Johnson
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NLC members

The plan by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to embark on an indefinite strike on November 6 to protest government’s refusal to pay N30,000 may have suffered a setback.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has given an order that the workers should not go on strike.

The order was given in view of the adverse economic effect it would have on the public and private institutions in the country.

The order was also given in view of the obstruction it would create in access to health facilities across the country.

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The order was given in a ruling by Justice Sanusi Kado on an ex parte application by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, for the Federal Government.

The court adjourned the case till November 8 when it would hear the motion on notice for the interlocutory injunction to stop the strike.

The court order and other necessary papers, the court directed, should be filed on all the defendants in the case which include the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

Labour unions have been mobilising ahead of November 6 when they plan to commence the strike.

The unions gave the warning of the strike when it became obvious that the government was not ready to pay the agreed amount.

The governors of the 36 states of the federation had on Tuesday under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, declared that they could afford to pay only N22,500 as the new minimum wage.

The amount is contrary to the amount the labour unions had agreed to.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the amount announced by the governors was not acceptable.

He said since they had refused to pay the N30,000, labour would go back to its original demand of N66,500 minimum wage.

Said he:  “We call on our members to continue to mobilise in preparation for the commencement of an indefinite strike on the 6th of November, 2018, if by then necessary steps have not been taken to adopt the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee.”

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