Labour insists on strike in Kwara as court stops action

The Joint Kwara Labour Congress has asked the state workers to commence an industrial action from today (Tuesday) to press for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

This is just as the state government said it had secured an injunction from the National Industrial Court, Akure, Ondo State, which stopped the strike.

But the union, on Monday, in a communiqué okayed the strike after its meeting at the Labour House in Ilorin, the state capital.

In the communiqué titled, ‘Strike Notice’, the Kwara Joint Labour Congress said, “This is to inform all workers in the state public service and local government that at the close of work today Monday, October 12, 2020, if the Kwara State Government fails to meet the demands of the workers, which include the signing and implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000 to all categories of workers of the state, all workers should, as from Tuesday, October 13, 2020, commence an industrial action.”

The communiqué was jointly signed by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Issa Ore; acting state Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ezekiel Adegoke; and state Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council, Saliu Suleiman.

However, the government in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said it had secured an injunction from the National Industrial Court, Akure, Ondo State, which restrained the workers from embarking on the industrial action.

The statement read in part, “The National Industrial Court in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State, on Monday granted an exparte order restraining the labour unions in Kwara State from proceeding on an industrial strike over disagreements on the signing and implementation of the minimum wage.

“Granted by Justice D. K. Damulak of the Akure Division of the Industrial Court, the order came as the labour unions directed its members to proceed on an indefinite strike from Tuesday unless the government accedes to its requests.

“In an affidavit filed at the industrial court in the suit No NICN/AK/53/2020, the government is asking whether it is lawful for it to sign an agreement affecting local government workers when it is not in control of local government finances or expending its funds.”

The statement stated that the case was instituted by the Attorney-General of Kwara State as the plaintiff, while the defendants were the NLC, TUC and the JNC.

It added, “The court, among other things, granted an order of interim injunction restraining the “defendants/respondents jointly and severally by themselves, their agents, servants, employees, workmen, privies or authorities how so ever described from declaring any strike or industrial action or embarking on the planned industrial action of any nature effective on the 12th and/or 13th day of October, 2020, or at any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”

It added that the court adjourned till October 20, 2020, to hear the motion.

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