The Federal Government has warned civil servants not to participate in the scheduled nationwide strike called by NLC and the organized labour.
A statement issued today, Saturday by the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, has asked civil servants to be at work, saying the government is engaging with the union officials over the issue.
The statement read, “Accordingly, all officers on grade level 12 and above and those on essential services are hereby strongly advised to be at work to perform their official duties.”
“Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers are, therefore, enjoined to bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all concerned officers and ensure strict compliance,” the statement partly read.
“Sequel to the Labour Unions for workers to embark on industrial action from Monday, Sept. 28, the office of the HOCSF wishes to inform all public servants that the Federal Government team is currently engaging with the labour unions with the view to resolving all contentious issues and avert the planned industrial actions,” she said.
The HOCSF’s directive it should be noted comes 24 hours after Justice Ibrahim Galadima of the National Industrial Court in Abuja issued a fresh restraining order against the unions, following an ex parte application by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
But earlier in a communique by its General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, the NLC asked its members across the nation to come out in large numbers to protest the increase in fuel and electricity prices.
NLC and TUC while condemning the hikes by FG said workers and Nigerians are disappointed that the government decided to increase both the price of fuel and electricity tariff at a time “other countries across the world are giving palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effect of COVID-19.”
In the statement by Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, NLC asked all National Leadership of affiliates in Abuja to mobile at least 2000 of their members to Unity Fountain, Abuja for the mass rally which takes off at 7am.
Also, affiliates are expected to mobilise the same number of members to the NLC Sub-Secretariat, 29, Olajuwon Street, Yaba, Lagos, which is the take-off point for the Lagos action at 7am.
Ahead of the threat by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to resort to industrial action, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held an emergency meeting of all the governors.
Following the meeting, the NGF cautioned NLC against the planned strike, arguing that any plan to down tools will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Government through the Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has met recently with the organized labour to brocker a truce and avert the impending strike. But the meeting failed to reach an agreement as FG proposed some palliatives to cushion the effect of the hike in petrol pump price and electricity tarrif hike, while organised Labour insists that the increment must be reversed before any further deliberation on the matter.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige says the meeting with Organised Labour has been adjourned to 3pm on Monday, September 28.
Meanwhile, the National Industrial Court has restrained organised labour movements in Nigeria, NLC, and TUC from going ahead with their planned nationwide protest over what they described as unfavourable and anti-people economic policy.
Justice Ibrahim Galadima who granted the restraining order said it was granted pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The order is also restraining the unions, their officers and privies from disrupting or picketing the workers or its affiliate from carrying out their legitimate duties on the 28th September 2020 or any other date.
An order compelling the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of State Services, DSS, to provide protection for workers from any harassment or intimidation was also granted.