Home » Imo Workers to Protest Against Government’s ‘Unfair Treatment’ on November 1

Imo Workers to Protest Against Government’s ‘Unfair Treatment’ on November 1

Labour union accuses state government of persistent and egregious violations of workers’ rights

by Motoni Olodun

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has announced its plan to embark on a massive protest and strike action in Imo State on November 1, 2023, over the alleged non-payment of salaries and other violations of workers’ rights by the state government. The NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, saying that the congress has mobilized its members from affiliated unions for the showdown in Owerri.

According to Ajaero, the NLC is deeply concerned about the persistent and egregious infringements on the rights and privileges of workers in the state by the Imo State government. He said that despite several attempts to engage in constructive dialogue and reach mutually beneficial agreements, the state government has persistently violated these agreements, becoming a habitual and repeated offender.

Ajaero listed some of the infractions committed by the state government against the workers, such as:

  • Unjust declaration of about 11,000 workers as ghost workers and withholding their salaries for up to 20 months.
  • Vandalisation of NLC State Secretariat and attack on workers’ rights and their representative body.
  • Failure to address the eight-year backlog of gratuity owed to retirees.
  • Non-compliance with the N30,000 National Minimum Wage.
  • The witch hunt against trade union leaders through various guises and intimidation.
  • Deployment of thugs and violence against workers and their leaders.
  • Impoundment and illegal diversion of union dues.

Ajaero said that the NLC had exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution and dialogue with the state government but to no avail. He said that Congress has no option but to initiate large-scale protests and industrial actions starting on November 1, 2023, to demonstrate its outrage and stop the continuing violation of the rights and privileges of workers in the state.

He warned the state government not to use threats or force against the workers or their leaders during the protests, saying that the NLC would hold the governor accountable for any harm done to them. He also called on all stakeholders, including civil society organizations, to stand in solidarity with the workers of Imo State in the face of these egregious violations.

He urged the Imo State government to honor its obligations and recommit to respecting the rights and privileges of workers. He said that the NLC is ready for industrial peace in the state, but the choice is entirely in the hands of the government of Imo State.

The planned protest and strike action by the NLC in Imo State is coming at a time when labor unrest is brewing across the country over various issues affecting workers’ welfare. The NLC had earlier issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government over the delay in sharing palliatives meant to cushion the effects of subsidy removal. The ultimatum expires on Friday, October 20, 2023.

The NLC had also threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over the proposed increase in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The NERC had announced that it would implement a new tariff regime from November 1, 2023, seeing consumers pay more for power supply.

The NLC had rejected the proposed tariff hike, saying that it would further impoverish Nigerians and worsen the economic situation in the country. The NLC had demanded that the federal government address the metering, transmission, distribution, and electricity generation before any tariff increase.

The NLC had also expressed its displeasure over the recent increase in the pump price of petrol by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The PPPRA had increased the ex-depot petrol price from N147.67 per liter to N155.17, effective November 1, 2023. This implies that consumers would pay more for petrol at filling stations nationwide.

The NLC had described the increase as insensitive and provocative, saying that it would erode the gains of the N30,000 minimum wage and worsen inflation. The NLC had demanded that the federal government reverse the increase and implement palliatives for workers and Nigerians.

The NLC had also condemned the recent clampdown on some trade unions by security agencies. The NLC had accused the police of arresting and detaining some officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) over an internal dispute within the union. The NLC had called for their immediate release and respect for their rights.

The NLC had also accused some state governments of violating workers’ rights and failing to implement agreements reached with them. The NLC cited examples of Kaduna, Kogi, Ondo, and Osun states where workers are owed salaries, pensions, and gratuities. The NLC had vowed to resist any attempt by any state government to undermine workers’ rights and welfare.

The NLC is one of Nigeria’s largest labor unions, with millions of members across various sectors of the economy. The NLC has been at the forefront of championing workers’ rights and interests in the country. The NLC has also been involved in protests and strikes to demand better working conditions and social justice for workers and Nigerians.

The NLC has said that it would continue to fight for the rights and privileges of workers in the country until they are respected and protected. The NLC has also said that it would continue to engage with the government and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing workers and the nation.

Source: BusinessDay NG

You may also like

logo white

Born from an unwavering commitment to the nation’s progress, we stand as an emblem of independent journalism dedicated to serving the interests of progressive Nigerians from every corner of our diverse and vibrant country.

© 2024 The Nigerian Patriot. All Rights Reserved.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com