Minimum Wage: Court Stops NLC, TUC From Embarking On Strike
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Abuja has restrained the organised labour from proceeding on its planned nationwide indefinite industrial action.
Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order on Friday while delivering a ruling on an ex-parte application restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on the strike scheduled to commence on November 6.
The judge granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) against both unions.
Justice Sanusi also restrained the NLC, the TUC and the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Governors Forum (listed as the first, second, and third defendants) from taking steps capable of destroying the subject of the dispute.
He said he was moved to granting the ex-parte application argued by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Dayo Apata, because of the likely devastating effect of the strike on the nation, its economy and the people.
The hearing of the main suit has been fixed for November 8.
The organised labour is demanding N30,000 as a new minimum wage for workers in the country, as against the existing N18,000.
Following a series of negotiations and meetings between the government and labour leaders which ended in a deadlock, the NLC and TUC threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide strike on Tuesday next week.
The unions had explained that the decision was necessary following what they described as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers in the country.
Reacting to the new minimum wage demanded by the workers, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum said most states lacked the capacity to pay such an amount.
The governors who said some of their colleagues were still struggling to pay the existing N18,000, however, agreed to pay N22,500.
This was strongly rejected by labour leaders who had insisted that there was no going back on their decision.