The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to embark on a two-day nationwide warning strike starting from today, over the general economic hardship in the country caused by the spike in price of petrol as a result of removal of subsidies on the commodity.
The national leadership of the NLC had in a statement last week announced its intention to observe two-day warning strike following the Federal government’s inability to meet their demands.
According to the communique issued at the end of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Friday, 31st August, NLC said it has observed failure of the Federal Government to establish “essential structures to address the widespread suffering in the nation.”
It also accused the government of “deliberate neglect and disregard for engaging with national stakeholders through the channels of social dialogue,” a commitment that President Bola Tinubu made during his inaugural address on May 29.
The communique signed by the NLC president, Joe Agbero and general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said the warning strike will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5th and 6th September 2023 respectfully.
The statement added that an indefinite strike may begin any time month if nothing is done by the government after the warning strike.
NLC on Monday, reportedly ignored overtures by the Federal Government for reconciliation and possible halt of the nationwide industrial action.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, on Monday convened a meeting in a last-minute attempt to avert the two-day warning strike already declared by the labour union.
Recall that organised labour had in August staged a one-day protest, which grounded activities in major cities across the country.
“In line with the communique issued after the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on Thursday 31st August, 2023 that all affiliates should direct all its members to commence two day’s withdrawal of services from Tuesday and Wednesday the 5th and 6th of September, 2023.
Aviation Bank Unions To joins Strike
Meanwhile, other unions in the banking, and aviation sectors have indicated interest in joining NLC in the nationwide strike.
In a joint statement, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), directed all members to shutdown operations beginning today, September 5, in solidarity with the NLC.
The statement jointly signed by NUATE, ANAP and NAAPE General Secretaries, Comrade Ocheme Aba, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu and Comrade Umoh ofonime, said: “As you are all aware, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed a two-day nationwide warning strike due to the present regime of subsidy removal, which has wrecked untold hardship on workers and the common people generally.
“Accordingly, as affiliates of NLC, all state councils and Branches of the above named Trade Unions are hereby directed to fully join the respective State Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress in all states on September 5th and 6th, 2023 for the strike action.
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“Aviation workers are hereby directed to stay at home during these periods. All must comply.”
On their part, the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, said, “In line with the communique issued after the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on Thursday 31st August, 2023 that all affiliates should direct all its members to commence two day’s withdrawal of services from Tuesday and Wednesday the 5th and 6th of September, 2023.
“The directive is imperative to get the needed attention of government and warn it off its new found love of meddling in the internal affairs of Unions rather than address the punishing economic circumstances we find ourselves.
“We hereby direct all our organs to comply with this directive by ensuring all our members stay off duties for two the days”