HAPPENING NOW!!! #NLC And #TUC Commence Nationwide Strike Despite Court Order—The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have commenced a nationwide workers’ strike today, ignoring a court order that had halted the industrial action.
The labour unions have instructed government workers to withdraw their services as a means of protest. Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, TUC President, Festus Osifo, declared that the strike would persist until “government at all levels wakes up to their responsibility.”
The primary grievances leading to the strike include the physical assault on NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and other executives in Owerri, Imo State, on November 1, as well as ongoing labour issues in Imo.
Ajaero’s arrest by the police ahead of the Imo protest has further fueled tensions.
The police, however, denied arresting him, asserting that it was a preventative measure to avoid a potential mob attack. Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, accused Ajaero of interfering in the state’s political affairs. Osifo outlined the demands of the unions, stating, “We demanded that the Area Commander that led the police to carry out the brutalisation be relieved of his duties and prosecuted. We also asked that Governor Uzodimma’s aide on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwaneri, who led the touts, should be arrested and prosecuted.”
Despite the court order and a previous ultimatum, the government’s response has fallen short, prompting the unions to proceed with the strike. The railway sector has joined the nationwide action, with the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) urging its members to participate.
In a statement by NUR Secretary-General, Segun Esan, railway workers are duty-bound to join the strike, emphasizing the need for the NRC management and security apparatus to secure and protect the corporation’s assets during the protest.
As the strike unfolds, the unions underscore the critical moment to unite and safeguard the credibility and integrity of Nigerian workers against perceived injustices by the state and its coercive instruments. The impact of this nationwide strike is anticipated to reverberate across various sectors, putting pressure on the government to address the outlined grievances.