NLC reveals why they called off strike on subsidy removal
By Jennifer S Kuwanta
Nigeria Labour Congress has said that it decided to call off its strike over the removal of fuel subsidy partly in obedience to an order of the National Industrial Court (NICN).
In a communique issued after an emergency National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, June 6, the NLC faulted the court order, saying it amounted to an abuse of ex-parte injunction.
The group directed all affiliates and state councils to suspend mobilisation until the outcome of the negotiations.
The statement read;
“An emergency National Executive Council (NEC) of the Congress which was called to discuss the outcome of the Dialogue between the NLC and the Federal Government on the petroleum products price hike after extensive deliberation observed that:
“The previous NEC-in-session had ordered a nationwide withdrawal of services and mass protest over the petroleum price hike by the federal government;
“Whereas the Federal Government was in breach of the 2023 Appropriation Act, the NLC will not encourage lawlessness on its part;
“Taking into account that the Federal Government has procured a court injunction restraining Congress from proceeding with the proposed nationwide strike as the NEC-in-session had ordered to begin, Wednesday, the 7th of June, 2023;
“Recognising the willingness of government for continuous engagement through dialogue and to offer reasonable palliatives in due course to cushion the effect of its policies and some levels of understanding reached;
“Considering the mood of the socio-polity last elections and the need to pursue national stability;
“Consequently, the NEC-in-session resolved as follows: to commend and applaud the diligence of the Congress’ leadership in carrying out the assignment given to it by NEC.
“To demonstrate to the Federal Government the need to comply with the laws of the land especially as it concerns obedience to the rulings of the courts and their brazen disregard to the 2023 Appropriation Act.
“To, therefore, support and accept the decision of the leadership of Congress to suspend the proposed strike action in compliance with the flawed rulings of the NIC and also allow negotiations to flow freely and enable final agreement during or after the 19th June 2023 negotiation round with the federal government.
“To, however, register in strongest terms its disgust and disapproval with the ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC) for its continuous weaponisation of the instrument of ex-parte injunction in favour of government against the interests of Nigerian workers in defiance of the position of the Supreme Court on the use of this instrument.
“All Affiliates and State Councils of Congress are hereby directed to suspend further action and mobilisation until the outcome of the final negotiations.
“To commend all affiliates and state councils on their robust mobilisation towards a successful nationwide strike action and to also remain vigilant in case there is a need to continue.”