The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have called for a nationwide shutdown in response to the federal government’s failure to address the fuel subsidy issue.
The unions issued a directive for all their affiliates and members to shut down the nation’s economy on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. This action is in response to the federal government’s failure to meet their demands.
The Presidents of both NLC and TUC, Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, made this announcement during a press conference held after an emergency National Executive Council meeting, Dailytrust reported.
Ajaero said, there has been extensive hardships and deprivation affecting citizens of the country due to the petrol price hike on Nigerians, since after the subsidy removal.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, had urged organized labor not to paralyze the country’s economy with an indefinite strike, stating that he had resolved one of the most critical demands of the Congress. However, Ajaero emphasized that trade unions had faced severe threats from the state, citing the brutal power of the police and government.
Ajaero mentioned ongoing issues with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), stating that these organizations were illegally occupied or controlled by the government. He also highlighted the hardships faced by citizens due to the government’s petrol price hike.
The NLC and TUC noted that the government had shown unwillingness to engage in constructive dialogue, despite recognizing the suffering and impoverishment in the country. They expressed their resolve to embark on an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation starting from October 3, calling on all workers to withdraw their services and urging Nigerians to join protests and rallies until the government responds positively to their demands.
This move signifies a significant labor action aimed at drawing attention to the pressing issues facing workers and citizens in Nigeria.