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Labour Unions Declare Nationwide Strike from October 3

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On Tuesday, September 26, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at a joint press briefing, announced that they will be embarking on an indefinite nationwide strike on Tuesday, October 3. According to the unions, they have decided to embark on strike as a result of the perceived insensitivity of the government to the plights of workers and other Nigerians, following the petrol subsidy removal and continuous demonstration of unwillingness and complete lack of initiative to address the fall-outs of the removal and other harsh economic policies.

The announcement is coming after the NLC’s  two-day warning strike of September 5 and 6, and the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government to address the demands of the labour unions. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong have appealed to the labour unions to shelve their planned strike action, assuring that the Federal Government will meet their demands.

Speaking on a television interview on Wednesday, September 27, President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero stated that all attempts made by the NLC to the Nigerian government to fulfill the union’s demands, have failed. His TUC counterpart, Festus Osifo in a television interview, on Tuesday, September 26, stated that the unions wanted concrete action on the part of the government, as opposed to promises and meetings that have failed to yield result.

It will be recalled that the NLC and TUC have been interfacing with the government to implement measures to ameliorate the impact of the petrol subsidy removal and other government policies described as occasioning hardship on Nigerians. Due to the impasse encountered in the course of these negotiations, the unions embarked on warning strike action and have severally threatened an indefinite nationwide strike.  Some of the labour unions’ demands include upward review of the national minimum wage,  workable roadmap for a more affordable mass transit system, revitalisation of Nigerian refineries, among others.