NLC shuts down Imo, grounds Owerri airport over attack on workers by state govt

Posted by News Express | 9 March 2023 | 795 times

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, collapsed operational activities in Imo State over continued harassment and brutalisation of workers by the state government.

As part of efforts to press home its demands until infractions instigated are remedied, NLC, through one of its affiliates, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), issued a notice of shutdown of Owerri airport.

A letter addressed to the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), General Secretary of NUATE, Ocheme Aba, directed aviation workers in Owerri Airport to shut down all services with effect from 12 midnight, yesterday.

It stated that the action would cripple normal operations at the airport, especially as it concerns aircraft movement in and out of the airport.

The letter, which notified air travelers to make alternative arrangements, said the situation would remain in force until otherwise directed by NLC.

The President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, said the Hobbesian state of nature has become prevalent, exposing not just workers in the state, but institutions and individuals to scare, fear and violence in their daily activities.

Ajaero alleged that workers, who gathered peacefully to conduct the state delegates conference of the NLC, were attacked by sponsored thugs in conjunction with security agencies.

Stating some atrocities of the state government against its workers, the NLC listed 20 months’ salary arrears owed some workers stigmatised as ghost workers.

Meanwhile, Imo State government has urged the national leadership of NLC not to fan ambers of disunity between it and workers in the state.

A statement issued, yesterday, by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, expressed misgivings that the NLC allegedly directed workers to embark on strike for avoidable mission.

The statement urged workers not to go on strike to complete the ongoing workers’ promotion process.

It also cautioned the national leadership of the union not to bring in politics into affairs of workers in the state.

It was gathered that alleged sponsored thugs disrupted delegates to the workers’ election.

Officials of the union, however, accused the state government of angling to force its preferred persons to head the union in the state, a situation delegates opposed and opted for real delegates’ election to enthrone new executive of the NLC in the state. (The Guardian)

Source: News Express

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