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Court stops NLC, TUC’s planned strike

...Concilliation meeting holds on sunday

The planned indefinite national strike by the organized labour in Nigeria comprising of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC) may have hit the rocks following an order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria stopping same.

Justice Sanusi Kado, on Friday in Abuja, gave the order in a ruling on an ex parte application moved on behalf of the Federal Government by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata.

The presiding Judge in agreement with the submission made by Apata ruled that if the strike is allowed it would lead to huge economic loss to both public and private institutions and could jeopardise the health of many Nigerians who would not be able to access health facilities during the period.

The organised labour had threatened to commence an indefinite strike action on November 6 to press for the increase in the national minimum wage from the current N18,000.

The last meeting of the tripartite negotiation committee on the minimum wage had ended in deadlock with the Federal Government insisting that it could only afford to pay N25,000, while the governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum had held on to N22,500 and the labour N30,000.

Apart from the NLC and the TUC, the NGF is also joined as a defendant in the suit.

Justice Kado adjourned the matter till November 8 for the hearing of the motion on notice seeking the interlocutory injunction to stop the strike and ordered that the court order and other papers be served on the defendants.

Meanwhile,the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige,in a statement says conciliation meeting on the national minimum wage will continue on Sunday despite the court injunction restraining organised labour from embarking on strike.

“The conciliation meeting involving the Organised Labour, the Organised Private Sector and Government scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by 6 p.m. is still on course and will hold,’’ he said.

The Minister said this would be followed by another meeting of the National Tripartite Minimum Wage Committee meeting on Monday, November 5 at the same venue and appealed to the concerned to attend.

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