May 5, 2023

Imo: Passengers stranded at Airport over NLC strike

Imo: Passengers stranded at Airport over NLC strike

The strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Imo State has left many passengers stranded at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport

The strike, called by the National Working Committee of the union, was a result of the faceoff between the Imo State Government and the NLC.

The union had accused the state government of assaulting some of its members during the May Day rally in Owerri. NLC barred airlines from taking off and landing at the airport after labour instructed workers in the Aviation sector at the airport to down tools.

Hundreds of travellers who were unaware of the development were caught on the web.

At the Sam Mbakwe Airport and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, where the labour union had also declared a “No flight to Owerri action,” flights to and fro Imo State have been seriously disrupted forcing passengers coming to the state to make alternative arrangements.

NLC Secretary-General, Emmanuel Ugboaja, had, in a letter, stated that labour would embark on a comprehensive industrial action against the state government with effect from Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

The communiqué read in part, “It was resolved that we embark on a comprehensive industrial action against the state government beginning from Wednesday the 3rd day of May 2023. Consequently, as part of our effort to enforce compliance, you are kindly requested to work with the TUC and other affiliates especially those in the Aviation sector to ensure that no flight leaves the Lagos Airport to Owerri, Imo State starting from midnight today.

“The government of Imo State has grossly violated the rules of engagement among the social partners in industrial relations in the country by using thugs to violently disrupt this year’s May Day in Imo State, that properties were vandalised and looted by the invading thugs of the government and that some workers sustained various degrees of injuries as a result of that attack.”

Among the demands, the union said the state government must sign the agreement reached between it and workers in March 2023.

Meantime, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, said the current loss of electricity supply in Imo is due to the ongoing strike of its workers.

The statement added, “As a result of this development, all customers of EEDC in Imo under its Owerri, New Owerri, Orlu, and Mbaise districts are out of electricity supply. We are aware of the inconveniences this situation will cause our esteemed customers and are hopeful that the issue will be resolved in good time and supply restored to our customers.”

The electricity firm appealed to customers to be vigilant and ensure that vandals do not attack the electricity infrastructure serving them during the outage period.