The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its 52 affiliate unions across the country yesterday threatened to hold a two-day nationwide warning strike on Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday, September 6, to “fight against hardship in the country.”
An indefinite shutdown of the nation could follow if the Federal Government fails to address the “excruciating mass suffering” being faced by Nigerians, NLC President Joe Ajaero told reporters at the end of the National Executive Council meeting of the Congress in Abuja.
Ajaero accused the government of “deliberate neglect and disregard to engage the relevant stakeholders through the channel of social dialogue.”
The Federal Government, according to him, has “refused to engage and reach an agreement with the organized labour on critical issues on the consequences of the unfortunate hike in prices of Petroleum which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses.”
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He said the National Executive Committee of the NLC (NEC) therefore resolved to ” embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the nation within 14 working days or 21 days from today until steps are taken by the government to address the excruciating mass suffering and impoverishment being experienced around the country.”
Labour also demanded that the government should vacate “the illegally occupied National Headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).”
It also resolved to “begin the shutdown of the operations of Air Peace Airline and other companies in the aviation sector that are involved in serial violation of the rights of workers in the sector to freedom of association and to collectively bargain and organize.”
The NLC asked communities around the nation to “stop taking the law into their own hands but report to the authorities for amicable resolution of any matter involving members of the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria which is one of our affiliates.”
It warned Federal Capital Territory Minister Nyesom Wike to desist from “threatening poor masses in the FCT with demolition of their properties built from their years of toil,” and should rather ” focus more on making houses available to the people.”
Ajaero said, ” He is not a Minister of Demolition and should be prepared to meet Nigerian workers and citizens on the streets if he carries out his insensitive utterances.”
He said Labour similarly resolved to ” embark on a mass protest and rally in Imo State within this month of September 2023 in preparation for a major shutdown of the state to compel the state government to stop the abuse and violation of the rights and privileges of workers and trade unions in the state.
He alleged a “renewed onslaught by the government and its agents against labour unions,” claiming that the police “under the instruction of certain forces peddling the name of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria invaded and illegally occupied the national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers headquarters seeking to install its own executive.”
Labour had, early last month protested alleged anti-people policies of the government sparked by the removal of oil subsidy.
It said the government abandoned the negotiations and failed to implement some of the resolutions from previous meetings.