The proposed strike over the increase in the pump price of petrol has further split the Nigeria Labour Congress.
While the faction led by Ayuba Wabba and backed by the Trade Union Congress has said it will go ahead with the strike, the one led by Joe Ajaero, which has the support of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Electricity Employees, on Tuesday dropped the idea.
The two factions took their positions after a meeting with the delegation of the Federal Government, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
And this is coming on a day the Federal Government said it would invoke the “no work, no pay” rule of the Civil Service.
The Federal Government also said it has put security men on the alert to deal with anyone fomenting trouble by blocking roads and preventing others from having access to their offices.
However, despite the decision to go ahead with the strike, the Wabba faction and the Federal Government agreed to set up a Joint Technical Committee to review the new fuel pump price template of N135 to N145 within the next two weeks and also work towards reviewing the current national minimum wage of N18,000.
The decision to go ahead with the strike by the Wabba faction also comes on a day the National Industrial Court restrained the NLC and others from pursuing that line of action.
The order was obtained by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The NLC and TUC described the order as a black market injunction.
The Wabba faction of the NLC and the TUC, at their emergency National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, said once the strike commences, only the joint NEC of NLC and TUC could call it off.
Although newsmen waited anxiously to be briefed on the outcome of the NEC meeting amid the court order, leaders of both bodies left the Labour House, Abuja, venue of the meeting without talking to journalists.
However, Ajaero has said there would be no strike.
But Ajaero equally faulted the order obtained by Malami at the NIC.
He said Malami should not have gone to court over a matter that was already undergoing negotiation.
Ajaero said: “This was not the first time a court would try to stop labour action.
“If you could recall, when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was the president of NLC, there was a court order against planned strike by NLC and TUC, which Oshiomhole described as a black market injunction.
“It was very wrong for the Attorney General of the Federation to have gone to court while parties in this case, the Federal Government and Labour, were already on the negotiation table.
“When we spoke with you yesterday (Monday), we insisted that there was no way we could mobilize, sensitize and even start an action tomorrow (Wednesday).
“That we would rather negotiate and it is only when the negotiations might have collapsed that we take the option of going through any action.
“On the basis of that, we agreed that a committee should be set up to, among other things, look at the issue of minimum wage, look at the issue of N500 billion social investment, look at the issue of setting up or reconstituting the PPPRA board and review the N145 new pump price of petroleum product.
“The committee is to report back in two weeks time.
“I won’t like to drag it more than this than to say this is the summary of the agreement reached.”