FG, Labour Talks Deadlocked As Court Stops Planned Industrial Action

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NLC members protesting
FG, Labour Talks Deadlocked As Court Stops Planned Industrial Action - Vantage News Nigeria
NLC members protesting

The meeting to discuss the dispute over the increase in petrol price and electricity tariffs between the Federal Government and the organised labour; Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) failed to produce any meaningful result following the failure of both parties to agree on terms.

The meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa’s Banquet Hall, started at 4.16 pm and lasted till 9:22 pm. It was however, postponed till Monday as a result of the inability to come to an agreement.

While Labour insisted that government must reverse the increments or face the strike, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who led the government team to the negotiation table, justified the rise in fuel price by stating that it was as a result of the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

On why it should stand, the SGF insisted that deregulation of the petroleum sector was long overdue.

He also informed the unions that President Muhammadu Buhari had asked him to reassure the union leaders and Nigerians that the decisions to increase petrol price and electricity tariffs were not meant to harm Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the National Industrial Court through Justice Ibrahim Galadima, on Thursday, issued an interim injunction restraining the organised labour and its affiliates from embarking on the proposed strike.

Justice Galadima said the order was pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The order was made sequel to an ex-parte application filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association through their counsel, Sunusi Musa.

Justice Galadima granted an order of interim injunction restraining the unions, their officers, affiliates, privies from disrupting, restraining, picketing or preventing the workers or its affiliates or ordinary Nigerians from accessing their offices to carry out their legitimate duties on September 28, 2020 or any other date in the name of industrial action.

The organised labour rebuffed the injunction.

While the TUC described it as a “non issue”, the NLC through its President, Ayuba Wabba stated that those who obtained the court order were not employers of the union.

He insisted the NLC had not been served by any court.

Briefing Journalists on the outcome of the meeting last night, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the meeting was fruitful because the government side agreed proposals with the organised labour on the palliative to cushion the effect of the rise in petroleum products and electricity.

He also stated that the government has requested the unions to shelve the strike.

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