The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Tuesday, said they will embark on a national strike from Tuesday, 14 November.
The leadership of the two unions reached the resolution after an extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The action of the unions followed the brutalisation of the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, last week in Imo State.
In a communique issued after the NEC meeting and signed by Adewale Adeyanju, NLC Deputy President and Festus Osifo of the TUC, the unions said it resolved to order the immediate withdrawal of services and shutdown of Imo State beginning midnight Tuesday.
“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,” the unions said.
The NLC had called on workers in Imo State to embark on a state-wide strike on 1 November.
While declaring the strike on Sunday, Mr Ajaero said the industrial action was in protest against “the persistent and egregious violations of the rights and privileges of workers in Imo State by the state government.”
“Despite our repeated efforts to engage in constructive dialogue and reach amicable agreements, the Imo State Government has become a habitual and serial breaker of these agreements, continuing to trample on the rights of workers in the state.
“As a result, we are left with no choice but to embark on mass protests and industrial actions beginning on the 1st day of November 2023,” Mr Ajaero said.
Last Wednesday, there was violence in the state as some thugs and police officers reportedly attacked Mr Ajaero and other members of the NLC who had assembled at the union’s council secretariat ahead of their planned protest in the state.
The national leadership of the NLC later said that Mr Ajaero was arrested by police operatives in the state.
The union also accused the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, of mobilising the thugs and the police officers to attack and arrest the NLC president to frustrate the planned protest in the state.
But the police later denied arresting Mr Ajaero, saying they only placed him in protective custody to shield him from attack by the thugs.
On his part, Mr Uzodinma, seeking reelection in the upcoming poll in the state, blamed Mr Ajaero for his alleged partisanship.
“What has happened in this ugly coincidence is that the national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress is from Imo state and has not been able to demarcate the difference between being a national leader of an organisation and then an interested party in local politics,” Mr Uzodinma said at the presidential villa last Thursday.
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