Unpaid Wage Protest in Nigeria Turns Violent: Labor Leader Assaulted and Arrested

Workers in Imo state, Nigeria rallied to demand payment for unpaid wages, an issue that has left some workers without pay for up to 20 months. During the protest, Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero was reportedly beaten and arrested by the police on November 1, sparking outrage and condemnation from various organizations. The police were also accused of assaulting protesting workers with machetes and confiscating their mobile devices.

Ajaero was released from police custody to a hospital due to his injuries. In response to the violence, Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau joined the NLC and the Nigeria Trade Union Congress in condemning the attacks on Ajaero and the workers. Bader-Blau emphasized the fundamental right of workers to be paid what they are owed and called for justice for the perpetrators of the violent acts.

The incident has raised concerns about the treatment of workers and the use of force to suppress peaceful demonstrations. The NLC and Nigeria Trade Union Congress members who attended the rally made it clear that their demands were legitimate, highlighting the importance of workers’ rights and fair compensation. The situation in Imo state sheds light on the challenges faced by workers in accessing their rightful wages and the obstacles they encounter when advocating for their rights.

As the situation in Imo state continues to unfold, it serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for workers’ rights in Nigeria and the broader issues related to fair labor practices. The incident has also drawn attention to the need for accountability and respect for human rights in addressing labor disputes. With the support of organizations like the Solidarity Center, workers in Imo state are continuing to push for their rights and demand the payment they rightfully deserve.