The Nigerian Labour Congress Declares an Indefinite Nation Wide Strike.

 The Nigerian Labour Congress Following the expiration of the deadline issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to the federal government over the alleged brutalisation of the NLC president Joe Ajaero, the two labour centres have resolved to begin an indefinite nationwide industrial action from Tuesday. 

But reacting to the planned nationwide strike, the Presidency in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, expressed concern over the decision by the NLC and TUC to call out workers to commence a strike action despite a restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court.

Also, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, yesterday, reminded the organised labour of the need to respect a subsisting court order which restrained it from embarking on the nationwide indefinite strike.

However, the NLC has said it was unaware of any subsisting court order restraining it from embarking on the nationwide strike.

Addressing a press conference at Labour House in Abuja, on Monday, President of the TUC, Festus Osifo, said the strike was necessitated by lack of response by the federal government to the demands of organised labour to bring to justice all those involved in the molestation and brutalisation of the NLC president and workers during the ill-fated protest in Imo state.

Speaking on the unfulfilled demands by labour, Osifo said: “We want the government to meet some key demands regarding the brutalisation of the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress. So we set some conditions and those conditions were very clear without ambiguity whatsoever.

"We said, those people that brutalised our President must be arrested, and they must be prosecuted. We also stated that the Area Commandant of Police that led his men to carry out the brutalisation should be relieved of his duty and he should be prosecuted.

“Then, one Chinasa, who everybody knew, that led the thugs should also be arrested and prosecuted and so for and so on

“So, the two Labour centers have resolved to stand firmly by the decision of the joint NEC that was held last week Tuesday. That effective, 00:1 hours, on the 14th November we shall declare a nationwide strike.

“So, effective tomorrow, or midnight today, a nationwide strike is going to commence. All affiliates of TUC, all affiliates of NLC, all state councils of the two labour centers have been mobilised adequately and this is going to be indefinite until governments at all levels wake up to their responsibilities.

“This is the decision of the joint NEC of NLC and TUC and we are going to carry out to the latter.”

Labour had earlier declared trade dispute with the Imo state government, accusing the state government of violating workers’ rights by illegally sacking over 600 workers.

The labour union also accused the state government of owing workers and pensioners over 42 months arrears; declaring thousands of workers/pensioners ghost workers/pensioners; not properly implementinh the national minimum wage.

He also accused state government of trying to use the courts to stifle a lawful protest and attempting to the break the ranks of the unions in the State;

It said the authorities were undermining the NLC in the state by foisting on the state council a leadership not constituted in accordance with the provisions of  the Congress constitution.

Other allegations include interfering in the affairs of the state council; hiring thugs to vandalise congress state secretariat and observing in breach agreements government voluntarily  entered into with Congress as far back as 2021.

The latest nationwide strike was precipitated by the labour dispute in Imo state which snowballed into a fracas during a protest rally called by the NLC national leadership in Owerri.

Source: Arise News.

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