The Federal Government has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (TUC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned nationwide strike.
Both unions had earlier in the day called on workers across the country to down tools at midnight as their standoff with the Imo State government takes a national undertone.
It would be recalled that Labour’s move followed an assault on the National President of the NLC Joe Ajaero in Imo State. The labour leader was in the state for a demonstration over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.
But in a statement late Monday, Kamarudeen Ogundele, the Special Assistant Communication & Publicity to the AGF & Minister of Justice Lateef Fagbemi, reminded the unions about a court order barring them from going on strike.
“We wish to remind the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress that there is a subsisting court order stopping the unions and their affiliates from embarking on the strike,” the statement read.
“The interim order was granted on November 10 by the President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice B. B. Kanyip.
“The unions have been served the court order and, therefore, must surrender themselves to the authority of the court which is already seized with the facts of the case. Any action taken contrary to the order will be tantamount to contempt of court.
The Federal Government thus called on the unions to “respect the court order and adhere to the principle of the rule of law. There is no need to resort to self-help.
“We urge workers to report for duties and not to entertain any fear as their safety is guaranteed and will be protected within the ambit of law”.
Labour’s move followed an assault on the National President of the NLC Joe Ajaero in Imo State. The labour leader was in the state for a demonstration over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.
But he was brutalized by those NLC claimed were police officers and thugs sent by the Imo State Government. In the wake of the attack, they demanded the resignation of the operatives involved in the incident and had last week picketed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to press home their demands.