The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have jointly announced an indefinite nationwide strike starting on October 3. This move is intended to compel the federal government to address the severe suffering and hardships resulting from the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Despite government assurances to conclude wage negotiations, which was a central demand of the labor unions, both the NLC and TUC have decided to embark on this indefinite strike. The two labor centers have urged Nigerians to use the time between now and October 3 to stockpile essential goods.
The strike follows a two-day warning strike by the NLC two weeks ago, which the TUC did not participate in. However, the TUC has now joined forces with the NLC for this indefinite industrial action.
In a joint communiqué issued by Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, and Festus Osifo, President of the TUC, the labor leaders expressed their concerns about the government’s perceived insensitivity to the plight of workers and citizens following the removal of the petrol subsidy and its reluctance to address the resulting economic challenges.
The communiqué stated that there had been a lack of meaningful dialogue between the government and labor, despite a 21-day ultimatum and a successful two-day nationwide warning strike in early September. The labor leaders emphasized that the government had abandoned Nigerians to poverty and suffering.
The strike is a response to the government’s apparent unwillingness to take action to alleviate the suffering caused by the increase in the price of petrol and other harsh economic policies. The labor leaders called on all workers to withdraw their services starting from October 3 and to engage in street protests and rallies until the government responds positively to their demands.
The strike is set to commence at zero hours on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, and aims to address the critical issues of workers’ welfare and the economic well-being of Nigerians. The labor movement calls on all patriotic Nigerians to support this action to place the people at the center of government policies and programs.
While the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, has expressed the government’s commitment to addressing the demands of the labor movement, it remains to be seen how this strike will impact the nation and whether negotiations can avert the industrial action.