Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The organised Labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has declared indefinite strike beginning from Monday midnight.
It consequently directed workers nationwide to down tools in solidarity with the Labour unions.
The industrial action, according to Labour, is to protest the November 1 assault on the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and others in Owerri, Imo State.
It also gave the unresolved Labour issues with the Federal Government as part of the reasons for the indefinite strike.
Recall that Labour had after suspending its strike last month, warned it would embark on indefinite strike without warning should the Federal Government fail to fulfill its part of the deal with Labour.
Other grouse of Labour against the Imo State Government include outstanding salary arrears, unjust declaration of 11,000 workers as ghost employees, non-payment of gratuities, and non-compliance with N30,000 minimum wage act.
Labour is also opposed to the declaration of 10,000 pensioners as ghost retirees by the Imo State Government.
The decision by Labour to down tools was reached Monday in Abuja after its extraordinary National Executive Council, NEC.
According to the President of TUC, Festus Osifo, who spoke on behalf of the organised Labour, the strike would be total until “governments at all levels wake up to their responsibilities.”
Reading from a prepared text he said: “We demanded that the Area Commander that led the Police to carry out the brutalisation should be relieved his duties and prosecuted.
“We asked also that Governor Hope Uzodimma’s Special Adviser, SA, on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwaneri, who everyone knew led the touts, should also be arrested and prosecuted.
“Our list of demands is in the public domain.
“We gave an ultimatum that initially expired Wednesday last week. But on the eve of that expiration, we had a joint session of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
“We looked at the time we gave and felt as responsible pan Nigeria organisations, that we should give additional one week to see if the government would be responsive.
“And to further draw the attention of government we had the picketing session last week Thursday but instead of government to come out strongly to condemn this criminality, instead of government to speak and stand on the side of justice, some people in government were rather running their mouths and making all kinds of statements.
“So the two labour centres have resolved to stand firmly by the decision of the joint National Executive Council meeting that was held last week Tuesday, that effective from 12 midnight on the 14th of November, we shall declare a nationwide strike.
“So effective midnight today, a nationwide strike is going to commence.
“All affiliates of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and Nigeria Labour Congress, all State Councils of the two labour centres have been mobilised adequately. And this is going to be indefinite until governments at all levels wake up to their responsibility.
“This is the decision of the joint NEC of NLC and TUC and we are to carry it out to the letter.”