The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is set to initiate a two-day warning strike commencing on September 6, 2023, as a prelude to an impending complete shutdown that will begin in 21 days. This resolution emerged from the conclusion of the National Executive Council meeting held in the early hours of a Friday morning.
A communiqué jointly signed by the NLC’s National President, Joe Ajaero, and Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, explained that this decision was reached due to the failure of the Tinubu-led Federal Government to engage in dialogue with organized labor and stakeholders regarding measures to alleviate the impact of subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, particularly for the underprivileged.
In August, organized labor had already staged a one-day protest that effectively halted activities in major cities across the nation.
Among the grievances prompting this nationwide shutdown, the NLC cited police encirclement of the national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, alleged labor rights abuses in Imo State, government interference in trade union affairs in Abia State, and proposed demolitions by the new Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, among others.
The NLC NEC outlined the following resolutions:
1. Initiating a complete and indefinite nationwide shutdown within 14 working days or 21 days from the announcement, pending government measures to alleviate the widespread suffering and impoverishment in the country.
2. Launching a two-day nationwide warning strike on September 5th and 6th, 2023, to signal readiness for the later indefinite strike and to demand the evacuation of the illegally occupied National Headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
3. Organizing a mass protest and rally in Imo State in September 2023, with the aim of compelling the state government to cease abusing and violating the rights and privileges of workers and trade unions in the state.
4. Commencing the shutdown of operations of Air Peace Airline and other companies in the aviation sector implicated in recurrent violations of workers’ rights.
5. Urging communities across the nation to refrain from taking the law into their own hands and instead report matters involving members of the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, an affiliate of the NLC, to the authorities for amicable resolution.
6. Demanding that the new Minister of the Federal Capital Territory refrains from threatening the poor masses in the FCT with property demolitions and instead focuses on providing housing solutions for the people.
Efforts to contact the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Simon Lalong, and the ministry’s spokesperson, Olajide Oshundun, were unsuccessful, as messages and calls to their phones went unanswered at the time of this report.