The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have taken decisive action on Imo State.
This decision follows an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja, where the two unions reached a unanimous resolution.
The unions have announced a complete shutdown in Imo State, with immediate effect, and a nationwide strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
This decision was conveyed via a communiqué co-signed by TUC President Festus Osifo and NLC Deputy President Adewale Adeyanju after the meeting.
The reasons behind Labour’s drastic action stem from various grievances against the Governor Hope Uzodimma administration and the attack on President of Nigeria of Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Jeo Ajaero by hoodlums.
Labour accused one of the Governor’s aides, Chinasa Nwaneri, of spearheading the attack on the Labour leader.
Labour also stated that their grievances include non-compliance with the national minimum wage, allegations of intimidation and harassment of trade union leaders, the use of violence and thuggery, refusal to implement previous agreements, outstanding salary arrears, vandalization of the NLC state secretariat, and the implementation of discriminatory pay, among other concerns.
Consequently, the NLC/TUC NEC-in-Session issued the following resolutions:
- Immediate Shutdown: The leadership of the unions has ordered the immediate withdrawal of services and a shutdown in Imo State, commencing at midnight on the day of the announcement. All workers and their affiliates have been instructed to ensure compliance with this directive. This shutdown will affect various sectors, including flights, power supply, and fuel supplies. Public and private sector workers are also urged to immediately down tools indefinitely.
- Nationwide Strike: If their demands are not met, the unions have threatened to escalate the situation. Workers across the country are prepared to withdraw their services by midnight on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. This potential nationwide strike could have significant implications across various sectors.
The resolution also mandates all state councils of NLC, TUC, and affiliated unions to ensure full compliance with the NEC’s decision.
Analysts contend that this marks a significant show of strength and solidarity within the labour movement.
Ben Onwukwe, of Centre For Democracy and Political Reawakening, CDPR, told this newspaper that “the timing of this showdown is notable, as it occurs just days before the November 11, 2023, governorship election in Imo State”
He said “The incumbent governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is seeking re-election. The strike action could have implications for the political climate in the state and the upcoming election”
“This development is a clear indication of the unions’ determination to address the various issues they have raised and to seek redress for their members.
“It also underscores the potential impact of labour actions on various aspects of daily life, from transportation and electricity to the functioning of businesses and essential services”
“As the situation unfolds, both the government and the labour unions will need to navigate these complex challenges, with potential consequences for the broader political landscape in Imo State and the nation as a whole”
“The coming days will be critical in determining the outcome of this Labour dispute and its impact on the state’s governance and upcoming elections”he stated.