NLC Strike Update – Nigeria Labour Congress to go on Worldwide Strike By 2nd August
The increase in fuel prices is a well-known issue in Nigeria, causing hardship for many citizens already struggling with the soaring costs of essential goods. This situation has affected both the wealthy and the less privileged alike.
In response to the removal of fuel subsidies, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is planning a nationwide strike, set to commence on 2nd August, starting next week Wednesday. Despite a court order that prevented a strike in June, the NLC feels compelled to take action as the effects of subsidy removal continue to affect the people adversely.
Joe Ajaero, the president of NLC, has yet to release an official statement. The NLC has given the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse policies perceived as unfavourable to the poor, including the recent petrol price increase. Failure to resolve within this timeframe will lead to the initiation of a nationwide strike.
The NLC has directed its affiliates and state councils to rally workers, Nigerians, and civil society allies for an extended strike and large-scale protests. This resolution was reached during the NLC’s Central Working Committee meeting in Abuja on July 25.
The Nigerian government has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to delay their planned strike next Wednesday. The government assures that it is actively working to address the issues raised by the NLC concerning eliminating fuel subsidies.
The government team leader and Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen, appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to grant the federal government more time to address their concerns and prevent industrial action. The government team expressed that they had yet to implement relief measures and wanted to avoid missteps.
The meeting between the government and organized labour was constructive and would continue. Nevertheless, the NLC has instructed its affiliates and state councils to prepare for a nationwide strike and large-scale protests if the government fails to meet their demands.
These demands include reversing anti-poor policies, like the recent petrol price increases and releasing withheld salaries. The NLC has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government to meet their demands. Additionally, the NLC plans to form a coalition involving all Nigerians to organize protests against the government’s actions and policies.
The NLC criticized the government for implementing policies that have led to suffering and poverty among Nigerian workers and citizens. They accused the government of disregarding the people’s welfare and the consequences of their decisions.
Furthermore, the NLC expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s hindrance in implementing agreed-upon alternatives to petrol and prioritizing the interests of the ruling elite over the well-being of the Nigerian populace.
NECA, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, has urged the government to take prompt action to avert the impending strike. They acknowledge the challenges Nigerians face due to the elimination of fuel subsidy and express compassion for those impacted.
NECA points out the escalating cost of living and rising inflation as significant factors contributing to the present circumstances. They call on the government to enhance transparency and effective communication and resume negotiations with labour unions to find common ground.
Emphasizing the value of social dialogue, NECA urges all parties involved, including the government, to demonstrate responsibility and sincerity in their interactions.