Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike from August 14, if, on August 11, if the contempt charge against it by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Justice is not withdrawn.
Federal Government, on Wednesday, filed contempt proceedings against the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), over alleged disobedience to a court order restraining the Unions from embarking on industrial action over the removal of subsidy on petrol.
NLC in a reaction to the charge on Thursday, at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held to review Wednesday’s nationwide protest, threatened to go on total strike across the country any day labour leaders are summoned to Court by the Government through the NICN
NLC said that it would embark on a nationwide comprehensive strike beginning Monday 14th of August, 2023, if the “contemptuous Court summons are not withdrawn by whosoever initiated it”.
A communique jointly signed by the NLC President, Comráde Joe Ajaero and General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, read in full:
“NEC-in-session deliberated exhaustively the mood of the nation within the context of the massive suffering and deprivation pervading our people across all the States of the Federation. It further reviewed the effectiveness of the execution of the Nationwide Mass Protest, which it had ordered during the last session of the Council and which was undertaken yesterday, Wednesday, the 2nd day of August, especially the consequential meetings with the President, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the Leadership of the National Assembly and the action of the Federal Ministry of Justice through the National Industrial Court (NICN).
“The NEC-in-session observed that:
1. Whereas Nigerians spoke loudly across Nigeria yesterday to express their outrage over the huge suffering and impoverishment pervading the landscape;
2. The President of the Federation, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, responded through a closed-door meeting with the leaders of the Congress and TUC.
3. Whereas concrete agreements were reached and the President personally guaranteed action on the following areas:
a. Committed to an immediate restructuring of the framework for engaging the consequences of the PMS price hike in line with the input of the Labour leaders.
b. The assurance that the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence production by December this year.
C. The pledge to ensure that Agreement is reached on the Wage Award for Nigerian workers immediately.
d. The promise to unveil a workable roadmap to the CNG alternative next week.
4. Whereas the Federal Ministry of Justice, through the NICN, has continued to allow itself to be used as a vehicle to truncate the dominance of the tenets of democracy and muzzle/silence the voices of Nigerian workers;
5. Whereas it has served a summons on the leadership of the NLC and TUC to answer to contempt of court charges despite the provisions of the constitution to the contrary and the objective realities.
Consequently, NEC-in-Session resolved as follows:
1. To support and affirm the decision to suspend further protest on the Nationwide Mass Protest.
2. To commit to maintaining the required vigilance needed to hold the Government accountable on its assurances and governance in general.
3. To commit to the terminal date of August 19th 2023 within which the issues around the Petroleum price hike will be agreed given the assurances of the President and the National Assembly.
4. To go on total strike across the country any day labour leaders are summoned to Court by the Government, through the NICN.
5. To demand the immediate withdrawal of this litigious terrorism by the Federal Ministry of Justice before the end of work Friday, the 11 of August, 2023
6. To embark on a nationwide comprehensive strike beginning Monday 14th of August, 2023 if this contemptuous Court summons are not withdrawn by whosoever initiated it.
While commending the national leadership and all the State officers for the effective coordination of the Protest, it urged all affiliates and State Councils, including our Civil Society allies, to stay further action but to remain focused and eternally vigilant.