Labour Unions Commences Nationwide Strike


The labour unions led by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commences the planned nationwide strike over the increase in fuel price. The labour unions have insisted on going ahead with the action beginning from today in spite the rulings of the National Industrial Court restricting them from participating in the planned strike.

Efforts to find a common ground between the leadership of the NLC and the government, including a special ad hoc committee set up by the House of Representatives to avert the strike ended in a deadlock.

While the NLC was holding its emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the Labour House yesterday afternoon, information has it that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had approached the court to declare the strike illegal.

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, declared that even though President Muhammadu Buhari did not believe that the prices of petroleum products should go up, he had no option in the recent increase in the price of the petrol just announced.

Osinbajo, who spoke at the at the public presentation of Anatomy of Corruption in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges & Solutions, a collection of essays edited by Yusuf O. Ali, SAN, asserted that “a lot of the problems associated with the refineries are corruption-related.”

Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi has mobilised members of the union for strike to force the Federal Government to revert the pump price from N145 to N86.50k

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has advice the public officers to desist from going into strike with the labour unions this is according to a statement by Engineer Babachir David Lawal
Secretary to the Government of the Federation made available on NTA official website this morning.

It reads in parts;

Government, therefore, calls upon and advises all workers to respect the laws of the land and to desist from participating in an illegal strike action. Government undertakes to guarantee the safety of workers and their work places, and expects that normal work will continue in the interest of the nation.

Accordingly, Security agencies have been directed to ensure unimpeded access to offices, work places and markets. Acts of intimidation, harassment, including barricading of gates, locking up of offices, blocking of roads and preventing workers from carrying out their lawful duties will be met with appropriate response by the law enforcement agencies.

All workers, whether in public or private sector are further reminded of the Trade Dispute Act, 2004, which provides that “where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike and any such period shall not count for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly.”

Accordingly, all Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies are hereby directed to invoke the provision of “no work no pay” in respect of any staff who absents him or herself from work to join the strike action. Attendance registers are required to be opened in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.