By Olalekan Awojodu
As the meeting between the Federal Government, and the leadership of labour was going on at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday afternoon, a legal proceedings was equally on before the National Industrial Court the court ordered a stop to the proposed indefinite strike of the organized labour over him in the price of Petrol and electricity tariff.
Justice Ibrahim Galadima of the court gave a interim order which restrained labour from carrying out the strike action.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), their officers, affiliates and privies had slated September, 28 2020 for the industrial action.
While giving his verdict on the matter, Justice Galadima declared that the order was pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on notice.
The order was sequel to an ex-parte application filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association through their counsel, Sunusi Musa. The court also granted an order of interim injunction restraining the unions, their officers, and 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 the 28th September 2020 or any other date.
In the same vein, the court also granted an order compelling the Inspector General of Police and the Director General Department of State Services (DSS) to provide protection for workers engaged in their legitimate duties from any form of harassment, intimidation and bullying by the officers, agents or privies of the unions pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
Following the recent adjustment of the retail price of petrol to over N160 per litre and the review of electricity tariff by over 100 per cent, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had threatened to call a national protest if the federal government refused to reverse the new prices.
The nationwide protest which was slated for September 28 was arrived at after the organized labour meeting with the federal government over the issue ended in a deadlock last week.
While justifying the new fuel price and electricity tariff, the government said the new fuel price was a product of the interplay of market forces under the deregulation policy in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
The government insisted that the deregulation policy and new electricity tariff were inevitable, as it could no longer subsidize fuel price due to dwindling revenues.
Meanwhile, the dialogue between labour and government is still on.