Just In: Nationwide Strike Declared by NLC Effective Tuesday, 14th November
In a significant development, organized labor, represented by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has announced a nationwide strike scheduled to commence on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. This decision was reached following an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja, as confirmed by an official who spoke to The PUNCH on the condition of anonymity due to pending press release plans by the labor centers.
The summoning of this extraordinary NEC meeting by the NLC and TUC leadership aimed to reassess the strategy for the impending strike. This decision comes in the wake of the alleged brutalization of the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, as well as a review of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and the organized labor on October 2, 2023. This MOU followed the removal of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit, a move decried by the labor centers for causing “untold hardship” to the Nigerian populace.
The labor unions had earlier issued a five-day ultimatum on Friday, demanding the redeployment of the commissioner of police in Imo State and the apprehension and prosecution of a government aide alleged to be involved in the attack on Joe Ajaero. Failure to meet these demands within the stipulated five days led to the announcement of a nationwide industrial action.
The arrest of Joe Ajaero by the police ahead of a state-wide protest in Imo State, while disputed by the police who claim it was for his safety, led to accusations by Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, who alleged Ajaero’s involvement in the state’s political affairs.
This incident has sparked widespread condemnation from prominent Nigerians and civil society organizations, including Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, and human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN). The nation now watches closely as the labor unions prepare for the impending strike, which carries significant implications for the country’s labor landscape and socio-political landscape.