The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said this while briefing State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
He was explaining why the government approached the National Industrial Court (NIC) for restraining labour from embarking on the industrial action.
He said: “Labour had threatened to shut down the economy which could lead to breakdown of law and order. They must serve the government 15 days notice before embarking on strike. There should be a reconciliation process, but all these were not complied with.”
The minister also said the government went to court not to cause disharmony between the two factions of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), but to enforce constitutionality.
The president of the National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, had Tuesday, following an ex-parte application filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, restrained the labour unions from going on strike, pending the determination of the suit.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, has said the government had set up a 15-man committee to look into labour’s demands including the reconstitution of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, reversal of the fuel price hike and N56,000 minimum wage.
The minister said the committee was expected to submit its report in two weeks.
He also said the government’s separate negotiations with both leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba and Joe Ajaero, was not to encourage factionalisation.
“We’re ready to discuss with anybody, even civil society groups. We, as a government, will not encourage factionalism, if for anything, we’re unifying them by bringing them together to talk about issues that concern their unions and Nigerians. We’ve the right to talk to whoever we want. We’ll open our doors to them for negotiations when they come back,” Ngige said.