The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, was whisked away by the Police at the ongoing protest in Imo state on Wednesday.
This happened as miscreants descended on protesters, smashing vehicles and inflicting wounds on labor members.
Ajaero’s whereabouts are unknown at this time, as he was taken away by heavily armed security personnel.
The NLC had earlier announced that it would begin protests in Imo State on November 1, over alleged violations and abuse of workers’ rights and privileges by the State government.
Ajaero said that the NLC was “deeply concerned about the persistent and egregious violations of the rights and privileges of workers in Imo State by the State Government.”
Despite repeated efforts by the NLC 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, the NLC said it had no choice but to embark on mass protests and industrial actions beginning on November 1, 2023.
The protest is intended to demonstrate the NLC’s outrage and to stop the continuing violation of the rights and privileges of workers in the state.
The NLC president added that the protest was necessary because the state government had refused to implement previous agreements.
According to Ajaero, the government has repeatedly reneged on agreements, most notably the accord reached on January 9th, 2021, between the Government and Organised Labour.
On outstanding salary arrears, some workers have been subjected to a staggering 20 months of unpaid salaries under the unfounded label of “ghost workers.”
Unjust declaration of workers as ghost workers has also been a problem, with approximately 11,000 hardworking individuals being unjustly branded as ghost workers and their salaries diverted even while they diligently carried out their duties.
The NLC is calling on the Imo State Government to immediately begin the process of paying all outstanding salaries and arrears to workers and to reinstate all workers who have been unjustly declared as ghost workers.
The NLC also demands that the Imo State Government respect the rights and privileges of workers and engage in constructive dialogue with the NLC to resolve all outstanding issues.