The Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other labor unions in the nation have been urged by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, to refrain from proceeding with their scheduled nationwide industrial action.
Fagbemi insisted that the unions should comply with the court order that halted such actions.
This directive follows a June 5 ruling by the National Industrial Court restraining the NLC and TUC from engaging in any industrial action related to the removal of fuel subsidy. In a letter dated September 26, addressed to the NLC, TUC, and Femi Falana (SAN), the Minister argued that the labor unions’ plan would have violated the existing court order if they were to initiate an indefinite strike on October 3.
Fagbemi called on Falana to use his influence with the NLC and TUC, as his clients, to honor the court order and allow ongoing negotiations between them and the Federal Government to proceed.
Fagbemi said, “These are undoubtedly issues that have been submitted to the National Industrial Court for adjudication.
“Therefore, the proposed strike action is in clear violation of the pending interim injunctive order granted on 5th June 2023 restraining both Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress from embarking on any industrial action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the pending motion on notice.
“We wish to reiterate that a court order, regardless of the opinion of any party on it, remains binding and enforceable until set aside.
“It is the expectation of the public that the labour unions would lead in obedience and observance of court orders and not in its breach.
“It is, therefore, the earnest expectation of this office that your distinguished law firm will advise the labour unions on the need to protect the integrity of courts and observe the sanctity of court orders.
“Consequently, you are kindly requested to impress upon the organized labour unions to note the fact that their proposed strike action is in gross breach of the subsisting court order, as well as the appropriateness of addressing their grievances/demands within the ambit of the law.
“Hence, the need for them to be more accommodating and show greater appreciation of the effect of the order of the court, by shelving the strike action.
“The foregoing will afford parties more room for further mutual engagements, for a holistic and sustainable resolution of all outstanding issues on this matter in the overall national interest.”
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