He Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) and the Nigerian Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Monday ordered their members to begin a nationwide strike from midnight.
This was revealed by TUC President Festus Osifo in a speech to journalists on Monday.
Osifo noted that the strike would continue until “the government at all levels wakes up to its responsibility.”
The unions had announced last Tuesday that they would begin a national strike starting Tuesday, November 14.
The leaders of the two unions reached the resolution after an extraordinary meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja.
The action by the unions followed the brutality suffered by the NLC National Chairman, Joe Ajaero, last week in Imo State.
Brutalized against the national president of the NLC, Joe Ajaero
According to Channels TV, the unions in a joint statement on Monday said: “In compliance with the decision of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC and TUC, all workers in Nigeria are hereby ordered to withdraw their services effective from 12:00 midnight today, November 13, 2023.
“Consequently, all NLC/TUC affiliates and state councils are required to issue circulars for maximum compliance and these circulars will be made available to the National Secretaries or posted on the Whatsapp platforms of NEC and CWC.”
Meanwhile, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, on Friday last week, prevented the unions from going on strike.
Benedict Kanyip, the judge, who is also president of the court, ordered Nigeria’s two main unions to stop their strike scheduled to begin on November 14.
The interim order came following an ex parte request by the Nigerian government through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice, following the threat by the unions to go on strike.
The NLC had called on workers in Imo State to go on a statewide strike on November 1.
Declaring the strike, 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 violator of these agreements, and continues to trample on the rights of workers in the state.
“As a result, we have no choice but to embark on mass protests and industrial actions starting November 1, 2023,” Ajaero said.
Earlier this month, there was violence in the state when some thugs and police officers reportedly attacked Mr Ajaero and other NLC members who had gathered at the union council secretariat ahead of their planned protest in the state.
The national leadership of the NLC later said that Ajaero was arrested by police officers in the state.
The union also accused the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, of mobilizing thugs and police officers to attack and arrest the NLC chairman and thwart the planned protest in the state.
But police later denied arresting Ajaero, saying they only put him in protective custody to protect him from the thugs’ attack.