The organized labour unions, including the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), have announced an indefinite strike set to commence from October 3, 2023.
TUC President Festus Osifo declared the strike during a joint press conference in Abuja, which was also attended by NLC President Joe Ajaero.
Ajaero, addressing the audience first, criticized the Federal Government for what he termed a lackadaisical response to addressing the unions’ demands since the implementation of the subsidy removal policy. He accused the government of refusing to engage in meaningful and constructive dialogue during the 21-day ultimatum and the subsequent 2-day nationwide warning strike in early September 2023.
According to Ajaero, the National Executive Councils (NEC) of both NLC and TUC assessed the current situation in the country, acknowledging the widespread hardships affecting citizens across all states. He stated that both NECs unanimously condemned the government’s perceived indifference and sluggishness in handling the consequences of the petrol price hike.
Ajaero also noted that there was no dispute between Labour and the Government regarding the significant suffering, impoverishment, and hunger experienced due to the petrol price increase. He accused the government of neglecting the Nigerian people and workers, plunging them into extreme poverty.
Furthermore, Ajaero accused the federal government of hindering peaceful dialogue with organized labour on ways to alleviate the suffering caused by the petrol price hike. He argued that the government had not adequately addressed the demands of Nigerian workers as agreed upon in their previous discussions to improve the economy and protect citizens from extreme hardships.
As a result of these grievances, Ajaero announced the decision of the NLC and TUC to initiate an indefinite nationwide strike starting on October 3, 2023. This strike would entail workers withdrawing their services, street protests, and rallies until the government positively responds to their demands.
In conclusion, Ajaero called on all patriotic Nigerians to unite and support the efforts to put the interests of the people back at the core of government policies and programs.