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Rivers govt warns workers against embarking on strike, cites pending court case

The Rivers State government has told members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state that they were forbidden by court order to embark on strike.

The state government said the members of the two labour unions could only embark on an industrial action when a pending court order on the matter was decided.

The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor stated this on Saturday at a meeting with newsmen.

He was responding to plans by NLC and TUC members in the state to embark on a strike action.

Adangor said the state government had a subsisting case in court with the unions, adding that rather than the union members to wait till September 29, when the matter was fixed for hearing, they were issuing threats of embarking on a strike.

According to Adangor, the state had gone to the court to stop an indefinite action threat by the union members earlier in March.

He said the government in the suit filed before the Port Harcourt Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sought for the interpretation to enabling laws relating to the strike.

He regretted that after the originating summons had been heard, the NLC rather than await the judgment on the matter fixed for September 29, started calling for another strike contrary to the subsisting order.

READ ALSO: Labour fixes date to protest Gov Wike’s ‘sins’ against workers in Rivers

“The NLC and Trade Union Congress failed or neglected to fulfil the condition precedent for the declaration of the strike action as prescribed in Section 4,6 and 18(1)(a) of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“Surprisingly, while the suit No. NICN/PH/41/2020 is still pending and the Interim Order of Injunction issued therein still subsisting, the defendants acting in collusion and concert with the national leadership of the organised labour (NLC and TUC) issued another threat of fresh strike in Rivers state based on the same reasons.”

Warning the union members of the implication of their planned strike action Adangor said:

“Every disobedience of an order of court constitutes contempt of court.

The organised labour is therefore warned against any act of overt or subtle disobedience of the substituting order.”

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