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Labour Issues One-Week Ultimatum, Threatens Indefinite Strike

Labour Issues One-Week Ultimatum, Threatens Indefinite Strike 

By Adeke Chukwuka

After a two-day nationwide warning strike just last week, Organised Labour is now warning of a potential indefinite strike if the Federal Government doesn’t meet their demands within the next week.

This ultimatum comes as the government has failed to provide relief measures to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians due to the removal of fuel subsidies.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is preparing for a potential indefinite nationwide strike, starting next week, as a response to the delay in providing palliatives by the Federal Government. The strike is expected to disrupt economic activities across the country. 

NLC’s National Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Christopher Onyeka, criticised the government for distributing a bag of rice to a few citizens while allegedly allocating N100 million as palliatives to each member of the National Assembly. 

The NLC had given a 21-day ultimatum to the government on September 1, warning of indefinite labour action if their demands were not addressed.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) demonstrated its determination by organising a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6, causing disruptions in various states with the closure of banks, government offices, and departments.

This strike served as a precursor to a potential nationwide shutdown scheduled to begin after the ultimatum expires next week. The NLC and the Trade Union Congress have put forth demands that include wage increases, palliative implementation, tax exemptions, allowances for public sector workers, and a review of the minimum wage.

Despite the Federal Government’s commitment to restructure its engagement with organised labour regarding palliatives, the initial eight-week timeframe for this process concluded in August without any action taken.

The committees assigned to this task were given the same eight weeks to finalise their work and implement measures to alleviate the impact of petrol subsidy removal on Nigerians. 

However, weeks after the deadline, these sub-committees have not convened or fulfilled their mandates. The Presidential Steering Committee, along with various sub-committees, was established by President Bola Tinubu on June 19 to discuss the framework for palliative care but has made limited progress.

Sub-committees were established to execute the Federal Government’s palliative measures, covering various aspects such as Cash Transfers, Social Investment Programmes, Cost of Governance, Energy, Mass Transit, and Housing.

These sub-committees were formed following a closed-door meeting between the President and the leadership of the NLC and TUC during a nationwide protest organized by organized labor.

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