THE National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday ordered the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to halt the strike they planned to embark on in protest against the removal of subsidy from Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS).
Presiding judge, Justice Olufunke Anuwe, gave the order after hearing an ex parte request from the federal government.
In her ruling, Justice Anuwe restrained the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the respondents in the case, from embarking on the planned strike action that is slated to commence on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Citing the affidavit of the government argued by Maimuna Shiru of the Federal Ministry of Justice, the judge agreed that the strike would disrupt socio-economic activities and unleash hardship on the citizenry.
“The respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on any strike action of any nature pending the determination of the motion on notice dated 5 June,” Justice Anuwe ordered. She further ordered the federal government to serve the originating summons on the NLC and TUC.
Subsequently, the judge adjourned the suit until June 19, 2023.
The order came in the face of ongoing dialogue between the representatives of the federal government and organized labour.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had, in his inaugural address last Monday, May 29, 2023, announced the removal of fuel subsidy. Shortly after the address, NNPC Ltd issued a new price template which led to the pump price of petrol jumping from N194 per litre to over N557, an increase of over 200 per cent.
The sharp increase immediately led to a spike in the cost of transportation across Nigeria.
The NLC and TUC are yet to respond to the court order. Efforts by National Record to speak to the officials of both centres failed as calls to their spokespersons did not go through.