The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has announced plans to initiate protests in Imo State starting on November 1, 2023. This move comes in response to what the NLC perceives as the State government’s continuous violation and disregard for the rights and privileges of workers.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, NLC President Mr. Joe Ajaero expressed deep concern over what he referred to as the persistent and severe violations of workers’ rights and privileges by the Imo State Government.
Ajaero stated, “Despite our repeated attempts to engage in constructive dialogue and reach mutually acceptable agreements, the Imo State Government has consistently broken these agreements and infringed upon the rights of workers in the state. Consequently, we have no alternative but to launch mass protests and industrial actions commencing on November 1, 2023, to demonstrate our indignation and put an end to the ongoing violations of workers’ rights and privileges.
“The NLC president stressed the importance of the protest, emphasizing that the state government has failed to honor previous agreements. He cited instances such as the government’s failure to implement an accord reached on January 9, 2021, and the unjust labeling of workers as “ghost workers,” resulting in 20 months of unpaid salaries for some employees.
Additionally, Ajaero condemned the vandalization of the NLC State Secretariat and the implementation of discriminatory pay, unsettled gratuity arrears, non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage, and other issues.The NLC called upon all stakeholders, including civil society organizations, to support the workers of Imo State in the face of these alleged violations. Ajaero urged the Imo State Government to fulfill its obligations and respect the rights and privileges of workers, warning that the NLC would persist in its actions until the desired change is achieved.
He further expressed concern about the government’s use of coercive measures against trade unions and cautioned that the NLC would hold the Governor accountable if any harm befell workers or trade union leaders during the lawful protests.
Ajaero concluded, “All threats of violence against us have been duly noted, but we will not be deterred. On November 1, we embark on this journey to protect the workers of Imo State from the suffering they have endured over the years due to the government’s actions.”
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