NLC defies court order, draws battle line with Tinubu, locks down Nigeria Monday night

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have directed all workers in Nigeria to withdraw their services effective midnight Monday November 13, 2023.

The decision, an outcome of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NLC and TUC, was conveyed in a joint statement on Monday urging workers to withdraw their services starting at 12:00 midnight on November 13.

“In furtherance to the decision of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC and TUC, all workers in Nigeria are hereby directed to withdraw their services effective 12:00 midnight today, 13th November 2023,” the unions said in a joint statement.

The union added that all affiliates and state councils of NLC/TUC are directed to issue circulars for maximum compliance and these circulars should be made available to the national secretariats or posted to the NEC and CWC Whatsapp Platforms.

“While we shall update you with developments as they unfold, do remain assured of our commitment to Nigerian workers and people.”

Meanwhile, the directive comes despite a restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria on Friday of the preceding week, prohibiting the labour unions from commencing their scheduled strike on Tuesday, November 14.

The court, presided over by Benedict Kanyip, the president of the court, directed the labour unions to halt their industrial action.

Earlier announcements by the NLC had called for a state-wide strike in Imo State starting November 1, protesting against what they described as “persistent and egregious violations of the rights and privileges of workers” by the state government.

Speaking on the matter, Joe Ajaero, NLC national president, stated, “Despite our repeated efforts to engage in constructive dialogue and reach amicable agreements, the Imo State Government has become a habitual and serial breaker of these agreements, continuing to trample on the rights of workers in the state.”

“As a result, we are left with no choice but to embark on mass protests and industrial actions beginning on the 1st day of November 2023,” Ajaero said.

Earlier this month, some thugs and police officers allegedly attacked Ajaero and other NLC members who had gathered at the union’s council secretariat ahead of a planned protest in the state.