The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has criticized the notice of industrial action announced by the Organised Labour for June 3, 2024, labeling it as premature and illegal.

In a letter dated June 1, 2024, Fagbemi addressed the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), asserting that their strike notice was “premature, ineffectual, and illegal.”

The letter was directed to NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC President Festus Osifo.

The labour unions argue that the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 is insufficient for the average Nigerian worker, especially since many governors have not been paying the expired wage award since April 2024.

The Minimum Wage Act of 2019, enacted by former President Muhammadu Buhari, mandates a review every five years to address the evolving economic needs of workers.

In response to the wage issue, Labour set a May 31 deadline for the Federal Government to implement a new minimum wage. When the deadline passed without an agreement, the unions called for a nationwide strike starting June 3, 2024, citing the government’s failure to settle on a new wage and to reverse the electricity tariff hike.

Negotiations between Labour and the government broke down, with Labour rejecting the government’s final offer of ₦60,000, insisting instead on ₦497,000 as the new minimum wage. Following this, both the NLC and TUC withdrew from further talks.

B2AGF Fagbemi  called on the unions to return to the negotiation table, emphasizing that dialogue is a more constructive approach than industrial action.

He referred to Sections 41(1) and 42(1) of the Trade Disputes Act 2004 (as amended), which require a minimum of 15 days’ notice before any strike action can legally proceed.

Fagbemi also highlighted a June 5, 2023 interim court order from Abuja, which prohibits the NLC and TUC from any industrial action. He stressed that this order remains in effect and binding on the unions.

“In light of these considerations, the call for industrial action is premature, ineffectual, and illegal,” Fagbemi stated. “The proposed strike also contravenes the order of the National Industrial Court and undermines ongoing mediation efforts.”




StatePress is an online newspaper with wide and extensive coverage of socio political events in the Nigerian States, African Continent and beyond.  We break the news, focus on issues without bias and maintain highest level of professionalism in discharging our social responsibility.

Post A Comment: