Workers over the country have been instructed to go on an indefinite strike starting at midnight today by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its counterpart, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
Notwithstanding an injunction issued by the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja prohibiting the NLC, TUC, and its affiliates from engaging in any industrial action, labour decided to go on an indefinite strike.
The walkout is in protest of the beating of Joe Ajaero, the president of the NLC, and others on November 1 in Owerri, Imo State, as well as the ongoing labour disputes in the region.
They had, on November 7, resolved to declare a nationwide strike by Tuesday, November 14, if their demands were not met.
Besides the brutalisation of the NLC President, other labour leaders, journalists, other grievances of Organized Labour include outstanding salary arrears, unjust declaration of 11,000 workers as ghost employees, unsettled gratuities, non-compliance of N30,000 minimum wage act, and declaration of 10,000 pensioners as ghost retirees.
Remember that along with others, alleged state agents and security personnel had descended on Ajaero.
They damaged the union leaders’ cars, hurting them and taking away their goods, including phones, cash, and ATM cards.
They had assembled at the NLC state secretariat in anticipation of the planned November 1 demonstration regarding the outstanding labour concerns.
There was the president of the NLC, together with other national officials from the NLC and their TUC equivalents.
The attack, brutalisation and the battering of Ajaero and others have continued to elicit outrage and condemnation across the country and beyond.
Organised Labour’s decision to go ahead with the planned strike followed an extraordinary National Executive Council, NEC, meeting today in Abuja.
President of TUC, Festus Osifo, who spoke on behalf of the two labour centres said the strike would remain until “government at all levels wake up to their responsibilities”.