Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Barely 24 hours after its decision to suspend its nationwide protest, the organised labour has issued fresh warning that it may declare nationwide strike if it’s leaders are charged to court for contempt by the federal government through the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
Earlier yesterday, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had issued similar threat.
Rising from a meeting of it’s National Executive Council (NEC) yesterday, in Abuja, the NLC demanded the immediate withdrawal of what it described as, “litigious terrorism by the Federal Ministry of Justice before the end of work on Friday, August 11, 2023”.
In a communiqué jointly signed by the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero and General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, the labour movement, threatened to, “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on a nationwide comprehensive strike beginning Monday 14th of August, 2023, if this contemptuous court summons are not withdrawn by whosoever initiated it.”
The NLC however affirmed the decision to suspend further protest on the nationwide mass protest
The communiqué stated that the NLC would maintain the required vigilance needed to hold government accountable on its assurances and governance in general
It also stated that it was committed to the terminal date of August 19th 2023, within which the issues around the petroleum price hike woulf be agreed given the assurances of the President and the National Assembly.While commending the national leadership and all the state officers for the effective coordination of the protest, the NLC urged all affiliates and State Councils including its Civil society allies to stay further action but to remain focused and eternal vigilant.
The labour centre further gave highlights of its meeting with the president on Wednesday, saying President Bola Tinubu personally guaranteed action on the key demands of the workers during their close-door meeting
It listed the areas to include an immediate restructuring of the framework for engaging the consequences of petrol price hike in line with the input of the labour leaders, assurance that the Port Harcourt Refinery would commence production by December this year and a pledge to ensure that agreement is reached on the Wage Award for Nigerian workers immediately.
In addition, the NLC said the president promised to unveil a workable roadmap to the CNG alternative next week.
Earlier, the NLC and the TUC had threatened that if the president fails to call the Justice Ministry to order, they would be forced to review their position and immediately resume the nationwide protest.
At an emergency meeting of the NLC and TUC, the two labour centres had announced the suspension of the nationwide protest.