By Abiodun OBA
Organised labour has declared a “total action” against the Imo State Government, in protest of the brutalisation of President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which is billed to commence as from 12 midnight November 7.
The union leaders also declared a nationwide strike, scheduled to commence on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
Speaking on Tuesday during a press briefing after a joint emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) in Abuja, Labour also resolved to commence a nationwide strike on Tuesday, 14th November 2023, if their earlier demands were not met by the federal and Imo state governments.
President of TUC, Comrade Festus Osifo declined to mention the manner of action labour has resolved to take on the state and governor Hope Uzodinma, but said it was a national action that would zero in on Imo state.
He said: “The NEC of all congresses frowned completely at what happened in Imo, it shouldn’t have happened.
“For the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress leading workers to examine, protest the nonpayment of salary of some of the workers in Imo, to protect the declaration of ghost workers when these people actually go to work everyday and several issues that have bedeviled workers in Imo state
“We went there without guns, a single machete but only to protest.
“Protest is something that is in the law, it’s a fundamental position that is purely guided by our constitution, that is guided by International Charter, that is guided by the ILO Convention but unfortunately, Hope Uzodinma organised the police and thugs to attack the Nigerian workers.
“NEC completely frowns at it and resolves as follows that: from midnight today, we are going to carry out a national action that is going to zero in on Imo state. These actions are not limited in any form.
“Then on Tuesday next week there is going to be a total nationwide strike because as at last week, we issued a directive that had some series of actions that were stated therein and none of them as at today have been met, and no attempt whatsoever has been made to address them.”
Also, a communique reached at the end of the joint NEC meeting and sighted by our correspondent partly reads:
“Consequently the NLC/TUC NEC-in-session resolved as follows; To Order the immediate withdrawal of services and shutdown of Imo state beginning midnight today. All workers and affiliates are expected to ensure compliance from wherever they are. All flights into and out of Imo state, fuel supplies and Electricity be stopped immediately as applicable. All Public and Private Sector workers are to immediately down tools indefinitely.
“That if our demands are still unmet, workers all over the federation shall join in withdrawing their services by Midnight Tuesday, the 14th of November 2023.
“All State Councils of NLC & TUC and affiliates are by this resolution mandated to ensure full compliance with NEC’s decision.”