Updated: Nov 14
On Monday, the NLC declared the initiation of the industrial action starting midnight on November 13, disregarding a restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court in Abuja on the preceding Friday.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and affiliated groups, including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), initiated a nationwide strike on Tuesday, defying a court order prohibiting the industrial action. The strike was declared by the two major labor unions, NLC and TUC, in response to the assault on NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on November 1.
Despite a restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday, which barred the labor unions from proceeding with the strike, the unions directed their members to withdraw their services from Tuesday. ASUU, in solidarity, urged its members to participate in the strike, emphasizing the protection of Nigerian workers' interests.
The Nigerian government, through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), obtained an interim court order to halt the strike, considering it a threat to national stability. The presidency labeled the strike as illegal and unwarranted, characterizing it as a form of government blackmail. The AGF's office advised the unions to respect the court order and avoid what it termed a contemptuous act.
This situation echoes previous clashes between the government and labor unions over issues such as fuel subsidy removal. The government has accused the unions of contempt of court on multiple occasions, obtaining restraining orders to prevent nationwide strikes. The unions, however, contend that these legal actions are tactics employed by the government to thwart their demands while neglecting substantive negotiations.