TUC President Reveals Joe Ajaero’s Visit to Imo State Was About Workers’ Rights

Reason Behind Joe Ajaero’s Imo State Visit

Festus Osifo, the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has disclosed the true purpose of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero’s visit to Imo State on November 1, 2023.

According to Osifo, Ajaero’s presence in Imo was not motivated by political reasons but rather to advocate for the rights of discontented workers in the state.

Denying Political Motivation

During an interview on Channels TV, Osifo emphasized that the labor issues in Imo had their roots before Joe Ajaero assumed leadership of the NLC, contrary to allegations made by the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

He pointed out that the problems began in 2020 when Governor Hope Uzodimma took office, and at that time, Joe Ajaero was not yet the President of the NLC.

Attack on Joe Ajaero and Planned Protest

It’s worth noting that Joe Ajaero was physically assaulted in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, just before a planned protest.

The protest was organized to exert pressure on the state government to address the grievances of the workers.

Subsequently, the NLC and TUC declared a nationwide strike, scheduled to commence on November 14, 2023, as a response to the attack on Ajaero and in support of workers’ demands.

Accusation Against Uzodimma’s Administration

On Tuesday, Osifo accused the Uzodimma-led administration of overseeing the assault on Joe Ajaero and giving the incident a political interpretation.

He disclosed that the NLC and TUC National Executive Council (NEC), under the leadership of the current Governor of Kebbi State, Nasir Idris, who was then the President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (TUC), went to Imo in 2021 to address the labor issues with the state government.

Preexisting Labor Issues

Osifo emphasized that the issues concerning labor in Imo State predate Joe Ajaero’s presidency, as he assumed the position in February 2023. The ongoing labor challenges have been in existence since 2021.

Unfulfilled Agreements

Furthermore, the TUC President noted that despite the agreement signed by Uzodinma with labor in May 2023, the state government has not implemented the stipulations of the agreement.

He reiterated that Joe Ajaero’s visit was centered on addressing issues such as unpaid salaries, job terminations, and months of salary arrears, rather than political matters.

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