The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have ordered workers nationwide to down tools by midnight.
The National Industrial Court (NIC) had restrained them from embarking on strike in the wake of the impasse with the Imo State Government.
But in a Monday statement, the unions ordered workers nationwide to withdraw their services at midnight.
“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.
“Consequently, all affiliates and state councils of NLC/TUC are directed to issue circulars for maximum compliance and these circulars be made available to the National Secretariats or posted to the NEC and CWC Whatsapp Platforms.”
While assuring members of further updates about the nationwide strike, organised labour urged them to “remain assured of our commitment to Nigerian workers and people”.
‘We Are Worried’
The strike is part of labour’s moves to push for justice after the National President of the NLC Joe Ajaero was assaulted in Imo State last week.
Ajaero and other NLC members were in the South-East state for a demonstration over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.
But the NLC chief was assaulted in the state with the union accusing Imo state of arranging the attack to stifle protests over workers’ rights. Ajaero was badly hurt, bundled into a van and briefly detained, according to the union.
Following the incident, NLC and TUC threatened to go on a nationwide strike on November 14 if the government failed to meet its demands, which included the resignation of police officials.
“We are worried that it has become criminal for workers in Nigeria to gather for a peaceful protest,” they said.
Last week, the unions picketed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to press home their demands, leaving travellers stranded.
Recent strikes have had a mixed turnout. Last month the unions agreed to call off a planned strike in protest over rising living costs after the government offered a package of measures to cushion the impact of its economic reforms.