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FUEL SUBSIDY: NLC, TUC Suspends Proposed Strike | READ WHY


FUEL SUBSIDY: NLC, TUC Suspends Proposed Strike | READ WHY

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has suspended the strike proposed to commence on Wednesday, June 7 over the removal of fuel subsidy.

The suspension of strike followed a resolution reached by the Congresses late Monday night, to allow more time to negotiate with the Federal Government.

Monday’s meeting and resolution were attended and signed by Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President; Festus Osifo, President, TUC; Nuhu Torò, Secretary General, TUC; Joseph Ajaero, President, NLC; Emmanuel Ugboaja mni, General Secretary, NLC and Ms Kachollom S. Daju, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Other resolutions arrived at the meeting include: “Continued engagements by the TUC and the NLC with the Federal Government and secure closure on the resolutions above.

“The Labour Centres and the Federal Government are to meet on June 19, 2023, to agree on an implementation framework.

According to the Negotiating Committee, the Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC are to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.

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•The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to review the World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the program.

•The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion programme earlier agreed with Labour centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.

•The Labour centres and the Federal Government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

•The Labour centres and the Federal Government to review and establish the framework for the completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.

•The Federal Government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and expansion of rail networks across the country.

•All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee.

Meanwhile, the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, restrained the NLC, and TUC, from embarking on their planned strike to protest.

The court order followed an ex-parte application FG filed through the Federal Ministry of Justice.

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The court held that the interim order, as well as the substantive suit, should be immediately served on both the NLC and the TUC, which were cited as defendants/respondents in the suit marked: NICN/ABJ/158/2023, even it fixed the matter for hearing on June 19.

FG’s lawyer, Mrs Maimuna Lami Shiru, who moved the application, maintained that the proposed strike was capable of disrupting economic activities, the health and education sectors.

The court, in its ruling, held that it was empowered by section 7(b) of the NIC Act, 2006, with the exclusive jurisdiction in matters relating to the grant of any order to restrain any person or body from taking part in any strike, lockout or industrial action.
It held that sections 16 and 19(a) of the NIC Act 2006, also empowered it to grant urgent interim reliefs.

The court held that the affidavit of urgency as well as the submission of FG’s lawyer revealed “a scenario that may gravely affect the larger society and the well-being of the nation at large.’’

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Justice Anuwe held: “Counsel has pointed out that students of secondary schools nationwide, especially those writing WAEC exams, will be affected; the tertiary institutions who have only just resumed after a long ASUU strike will also be affected, not leaving the health sector, among other sectors; and above all, the economy of the nation.

“In my view, this is a situation of extreme urgency that will require the intervention of this court.”

According to the judge, “having, therefore, considered the totality of this application, I make the following orders: ‘’The defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on the planned industrial action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 5th June 2023.

“It is ordered that the defendant/ respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the motion on notice and the order of this court hereby made.

“The motion on notice is hereby fixed for hearing on 19th June 2023. Hearing notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/respondents along with the other processes.”

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