STRIKE: Labour Accuse Wike of Planning to Unleash Violence on Workers

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Governor Nyesom Wike

Ahead of its Tuesday protest in Rivers state, Organised Labour says it is in receipt of what it calls very credible information that Governor Nyesom Wike has mobilized two local governments councils around Port Harcourt metropolis to engage armed thugs who would unleash violence on workers.

A statement signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba recalled that on the 27th of August 2020, the State Executive Council meeting of the Rivers State Council of the NLC was allegedly disrupted by hundreds of thugs who allegedly boasted that they were sent by the  Governor.

According to the statement, on the night of July 27, 2020 some armed hoodlums allegedly  ransacked the sealed Secretariat of the NLC and vandalized equipment and installation worth millions of naira.

The Congress reiterated that any attempt to disrupt its rally on Tuesday would not only be another frontal attack against the Nigerian Constitution by but would also be a continuation of Governor Nyesom Wike’s alleged reign of impunity and ill-conceived ploy to exterminate Organized Labour in Rivers State.

It insists the planned protest is in line with the provision of the constitution.

On The Legal Aspects Of The Threatened Strike Action, The Hon. Attorney-general And Commissioner For Justice, Rivers State, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, in a statement, instituted Suit No. NICN/PH/41/2020 (Attorney-General Rivers State v. Comrade Beatrice Itubo, JP) at the National Industrial Court Port Harcourt by way of Originating Summons seeking the interpretation of the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act, Cap. T8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 and the Trade Unions Act, Cap. T14 LFN 2004 in relation to the threatened strike action by the defendants.

Rivers State claimed that the it’s Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, “failed, refused and/or neglected to fulfil the condition precedent for the declaration of strike action as prescribed in sections 4, 6 and 18 (1) (a) of the Trade Disputes Act, Cap. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

The State therefore said that it has filed “an Ex-parte Application injunction”, restraining the Organized Labour from commencing, embarking on or proceeding with the strike action. The Ex-parte Application was heard and granted by the Honourable Court on 23rd March, 2020

The Attorney General therefore warned the Union
to comply strictly with the terms of the orders  issued by the court, which refrains them from proceeding with the strike action in Rivers State “whether on 8th day of September, 2020 or on any earlier or later date.

“That every disobedience of an Order of Court constitutes Contempt of Court and the Court that issued the Order possesses both statutory and inherent powers to punish for disobedience of its Order by committing the party in default to prison until he purges himself of the contempt. This is the settled principle of our law.

“The Organized Labour is therefore warned against any act of overt or subtle disobedience of the subsisting Orders of the National Industrial Court because there shall be consequences for disobedience.” The statement read.

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