The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is poised to lead Organised Labour in a resounding two-day warning strike set to commence on Tuesday, September 5. The strike action serves as a protest against the perceived mishandling of the hardships inflicted by President Bola Tinubu’s abrupt removal of petrol subsidies.
This collective action involves the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and their various affiliates across Nigeria. It follows a mass protest launched on August 2, condemning what they describe as “anti-people” policies pursued by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
During the earlier protest, demonstrators converged on various locations, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and several states such as Lagos, Abia, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Zamfara, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, Ondo, and Edo.
The NLC had previously issued a stern ultimatum, giving the Federal Government seven days to effect “the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies,” including the recent surge in PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) prices, hikes in public school fees, and the release of eight months’ withheld salaries for university lecturers and workers.
In a striking demand, Organised Labour has called for a significant increase in the minimum wage, proposing an adjustment from N30,000 to N200,000.
Despite a temporary suspension of the August mass protests across the nation to facilitate further negotiations, the President has made no concrete moves towards revising the minimum wage or enhancing workers’ salaries, despite prior assurances, including promises from the election campaign period.
Rather than focusing on wage reviews, the President opted to allocate N5 billion in palliative intervention funds to all 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
The NLC argues that such palliatives are insufficient substitutes for wage increases, especially in the face of rising prices and hyperinflation triggered by the removal of fuel subsidies. The impending two-day warning strike reflects Organised Labour’s determination to press for substantial improvements in the welfare of Nigerian workers.