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FG warns labour unions against illegal picketing

The federal government says it will bring the full weight of the law on those who continue to cross the line in the disguise of…

The federal government says it will bring the full weight of the law on those who continue to cross the line in the disguise of unionism.

Workers of the Ministry of Trade and Investment had last Wednesday shut down the ministry’s entrance during a protest to demand the removal of the permanent secretary, Evelyn Ngige, who is the wife of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Mrs Ngige had been accused of not paying attention to the staff’s welfare.

But the minister, Ngige, in a statement on Tuesday, urged the labour leadership to educate their members on their rights and privileges, and call them to order.

He said the government would no longer fold its hands while what ought to be a peaceful agitation by unions “has crossed the boundary of lawfulness”.

The minister described unions’ action as an act “hooliganism in the disguise of trade unionism”.

He said: “The Federal Government has watched as the offices of the Hon. Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Investment were locked for days by agitating workers unions, preventing other workers and officers of government from carrying out their lawful duties.

“Similarly, the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre has been under lock and key since Monday, 15 November 2021, preventing the newly appointed Director-General of the agency, Adesoji Eniade from assuming office.

 “We further warn that unruly behaviors emanating in the course of a strike in the guise of picketing by employers may be subjected to the relevant sections of the Criminal Code and punishment dispensed accordingly. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”

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