In a seismic development, the leadership of organized labor, composed of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has officially declared a total nationwide strike set to commence on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
This momentous decision was reached after an extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.
A confidential source within the labor organizations, who was not authorized to disclose details prior to an impending press release, confirmed the unanimous resolution.
The call for the nationwide strike comes in response to a series of critical issues that have exacerbated tensions within the labor movement.
The impetus for this decision can be traced back to the brutalization of the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, prompting the unions to reevaluate the strategies for their planned strike.
Moreover, the meeting aimed to reassess the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Federal Government and organized labor on October 2, 2023. This MOU was pivotal, particularly due to the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), which the labor centers argue has caused “untold hardship” for Nigerians.
Last week, the labor unions issued a five-day ultimatum in response to the arrest of Joe Ajaero by the police in Owerri, Imo State. They demanded the redeployment of the state’s commissioner of police and called for the arrest and prosecution of the government aide allegedly involved in the attack on Ajaero.
A resolute threat looms over the nation as the unions announced their intent to embark on a nationwide industrial action if their demands remained unmet within the stipulated five-day timeframe.
The circumstances surrounding Ajaero’s arrest continue to be a contentious issue. The police have maintained that it was a preventative measure to safeguard him from potential mob violence. However, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma accused the labor leader of interfering in the state’s political affairs, further deepening the crisis.
Prominent figures and civil society organizations, including Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, and renowned human rights lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), have decried the attack on the labor leader.
As the nation braces for the impending strike, the socio-political landscape remains tense, and the outcomes of the labor movement’s actions will continue to be a subject of national importance.