THE National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan, will today, examine an ex-parte order sought by the Oyo State government to restrain the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from embarking on the ongoing industrial action.
The state government, just before the commencement of the indefinite strike declared by the national leadership of the NLC on June 7, had approached the court, challenging the legality of the strike action of the labour movement.
The court failed to grant the government’s request for an ex-parte order restraining the strike action but rather served a motion of notice to both parties, asking them to appear in court today to present their arguments.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) were drawn as defendants in the case.
The plaintiff and the defendants confirmed on Monday that their various legal teams would be in court today for the hearing of the case.
The state government is arguing that the decision of the NLC to declare total strike contravenes labour laws and conventions, noting that there was no existing labour dispute or ultimatum given to the government.
On the other hand, the NLC has maintained that its actions have been in line with labour laws where strike is one of its tools of engagement.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, has hinted that government is set to communicate another meeting date to the labour movement for dialogue over the ongoing strike.
In a related development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the leadership of the Accord Party was inciting the labour movement against the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, epitomised by the ongoing industrial action of the NLC.
The Accord party had earlier on Wednesday, in some sections of the media, condemned Monday’s solidarity rally by artisans, traders, students’ unions, for Ajimobi in Ibadan as uncalled for.
The party, through its Director of Publicity and Strategy, Olawale Sadare, chided the Accord Party’s recent condemnation of Monday’s solidarity rally for Ajimobi staged in Ibadan.
APC described the latest reaction from the opposition party as another evidence of its preference for “violence and civil unrest as against the prevailing atmosphere of peace and harmony across the nooks and cranny of the state.”
“It was even surprising that the leadership of Accord Party waited until Wednesday before voicing out their disappointment on the popularity of the APC government in the state as evident in the mammoth crowd that participated in the spontaneous rally despite its numerous spirited, but futile, efforts to bring down the Ajimobi administration for obvious reasons. Interestingly, the Accord Party elements are still embittered about their failure to be in the saddle of governance and they do not spare any efforts to rekindle the flame of the same battle which they have lost on all fronts.”
“The hallmark of democracy is the option for dialogue in the face of crisis or disagreement but some disgruntled politicians would not allow the labour movement to employ this in resolving their differences with the state government but rather incite them to be confrontational and violent in all agitations for their improved welfare. They tell all sorts of lies to labour and members of the general public in order to cause unrest in the state and this has continued unabated for some time now.”