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Strike: Labour Not Served Court Order, Says TUC Boss

Festus Osifo knocked the government for “perpetually violating” court orders while expecting other institutions to obey the judiciary.


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FILE: TUC President Festus Osifo

 

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) President, Festus Osifo, says the Organised Labour has not been served any court not to proceed with the strike which commenced on Tuesday.

“As we speak today, we don’t have service of any court order. If you procure court order, even if you procure it at midnight, you need to serve it on the party and I will tell you that we don’t have it. They should bring proof of service on the TUC and the NLC,” Osifo said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.

The TUC President also knocked the government for “perpetually violating” court orders while expecting other institutions to obey the judiciary.

 

 

The labour leader further said once the unions receive a court order on the ongoing strike, they would liaise with their lawyers and take a decision.

“We have a state that refuses to obey court orders. You now expect others to obey court orders but once we see it, we are responsible institutions, we will not say because the Federal Government continuously violate court institution, we will examine it and if it is the right thing for us to do, yes, we will,” he said.

Osifo scolded the government for always rushing to court to obtain restraining orders to stop labour’s action instead of engaging the unions and addressing their grievances. According to him, obtaining court orders is not good labour relations on the part of the government.

The Presidency and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had berated Labour for embarking on the indefinite action despite a “restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court”, saying labour must respect court orders.

Labour embarked on nationwide strike on Tuesday to seek justice over an assault on NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on November 1, 2023 when he was about to lead a protest against alleged anti-labour practices by the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led administration.

Workers in several states joined the strike, shutting down activities at several government-owned facilities.

Public schools, state High Courts and State Houses of Assembly were shut while some banks in capital cities closed their doors to customers, who were left to do their transactions at the ATM terminals.