Just 24 hours after deciding to put a halt to its statewide protest, organized labor has once again warned that it may call a strike if its leaders are brought up in court by the federal government via the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on charges of contempt. Similar threats had been made earlier in the day by both the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The NLC requested the immediate withdrawal of what it referred to as “litigious terrorism by the Federal Ministry of Justice before the end of work on Friday, August 11, 2023” during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting yesterday in Abuja.
The labor movement threatened to “embark on a nationwide comprehensive strike beginning Monday, August 14, 2023, if this contemptuous court summons are not withdrawn by whoever initiated it” in a statement co-signed by NLC President Comrade Joe Ajaero and General Secretary Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja.
However, the NLC reiterated its resolve to halt additional demonstrations in response to the statewide mass protest.
According to the communiqué, the NLC will continue to exercise the necessary vigilance to hold the government responsible for its promises and general governance.
Additionally, it said that it was dedicated to the deadline of August 19th, 2023, during which the concerns related to the increase in the price of petroleum would be resolved in light of the President’s and the National Assembly’s pledges.
The NLC encouraged all affiliates and State Councils, including its Civil society partners, to halt further action but to remain focused and eternally watchful while applauding the national leadership and all the state officers for the efficient coordination of the demonstration.
The labor center also provided details of its meeting with the president on Wednesday, stating that during their private discussion, President Bola Tinubu personally promised action on the major concerns of the employees.
It included a list of the areas to be addressed, including an immediate restructuring of the framework for addressing the effects of an increase in the price of gasoline in accordance with the labor leaders’ input, assurance that the Port Harcourt Refinery would begin operating by December of this year, and a commitment to see that an agreement is reached on the Wage Award for Nigerian workers immediately.
The NLC further claimed that the president pledged to present a practical plan for the CNG substitute the following week.
Earlier, the NLC and the TUC had warned to reassess their stance and promptly begin the statewide demonstration if the president failed to summon the Justice Ministry to order.
The two labor organizations had declared the suspension of the countrywide protest during an emergency meeting of the NLC and TUC.