Subsidy: NLC, TUC restrained by court from embarking on strike

The National Industrial Court (NIC) has restrained the Organised Labour from embarking on strike over the removal of fuel subsidy. 

The Federal Government obtained the order restraining the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on any form of strike on Monday, June 5, 2023.

Ruling on an exparte application filed before the court, Justice O.Y. Anuwe ordered the unions not to embark on their planned industrial action or strike of any nature pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated June 5, 2023.

The court also directed that the defendants be immediately served with the originating processes in the suit filed as it fixed June 19 for hearing.

The NLC was set to embark on a nationwide strike effective Wednesday before the court order.

NLC President Joe Ajaero, on Friday, after an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja, said the government, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had up until Wednesday next week to revert to the old price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise referred to as petrol.

Ajaero had added that failure of the Federal Government to meet the ultimatum would attract an indefinite protest across the country.

Subsidy Removal Controversy

On Monday during his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja, Tinubu said the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended, adding that with the 2023 budget making no provision for fuel subsidy, further payment was no longer justifiable.

“The fuel subsidy is gone,” Tinubu said. His government would instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy, he added.

The presidential pronouncement led to an almost instant resurgence of fuel queues across the country with Nigerians foraging for the premium product.

Though Tinubu’s decision received backing from the NNPCL and the House of Representatives, it has since been resisted by the NLC and TUC.

According to Organised Labour, the President cannot unilaterally take a decision on subsidy removal.

TUC President Festus Osifo also argued that there was a reason the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari pushed the “sensitive issue” to the new government.

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