Your looming strike is premature, Nigerian government tells workers

The Nigerian Government has declared the proposed impending strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as illegal, stressing that it violates statutory provisions of Nigeria’s labour laws

Penpushing reports that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, made the declaration on Sunday, as he appealed to the workers’ unions to shelve the strike, emphasizing that the proposed strike is premature.

The Minister, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in a letter dated June 1, 2024 and addressed to the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, and Trade Union Congress (TUC’s) National President, Festus Osifo faulted the planned strike which is expected to commence midnight Sunday.

Lush Arena

Penpushing further reports that Fagbemi faulted the planned industrial action on the grounds that the Nigerian government and other employers of labour involved in a tripartite committee to determine a new minimum wage had not declared an end to negotiation.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice referencing some sections of the Trade Dispute Act 2004, pointed out that the law requires the unions to issue mandatory strike notices of a minimum of 15 days.

Penpushing also reports that the Minister queried that the legitimacy of the proposed strike is called to question by the fact that the Labour unions failed to comply with statutory conditions precedent, and reminded the labour leaders that the strike is at variance with an order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria where issues on fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu the attendant consequences are being adjudicated on.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice explained that the government took measures including wage award and provision of CNG-powered vehicles for public transportation to ameliorate the adverse consequences of fuel subsidy removal.

Penpushing reports that Fagbemi while assuring the labour unions of government’s commitment to conciliatory approach to resolving disputes concerning citizen’s welfare urged them to reconsider the declaration of strike action and return to the ongoing negotiation meetings.

The minister’s letter was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu; Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun; Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi; and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejeocha.

Penpushing further reports that as at the time of filing this report both Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have yet to respond to the call by the government to shelve the strike, which is scheduled to commence on Monday.

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