By Simeon OSAJIE
The Nigeria Labour Congres (NLC) has embarked on a two-day warning strike in protest against the Federal Government’s failure to address the challenges caused by the removal of fuel subsidies.
It was learnt that the early as 5.00am today Tuesday August 5, 2023 morning, the labour union shut down government offices and other facilities across the country.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their affiliate unions demonstrated in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and several states, including Lagos, Abia, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Zamfara, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, Ondo, and Edo.
The protest followed a seven-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government demanding “the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government including the recent hike in PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) price, increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld salary of university lecturers and workers”.
The union also demanded an upward review of the minimum wage from N30,000 to N200,000, saying that since the President’s subsidy is gone inauguration speech of May 29, 2023, the peace of mind of Nigerians has gone.
In Edo State, the state NLC shutdown the State Secretariats, Central Hospital and other facilities in the state in compliance with the two days warning strike.
Speaking with Journalists while enforcing the strike order at the state Secretariats with other union members, the state chairman of the NLC, Comrade Odion Olaye, said the strike is total.
According to him “The two days warning strike commence today. You can see things for yourself. We are in the state secretariat of the ministry and we have shut it down. State High Court has been shut down, Central Hospital, Coca cola, Guinness , 7Up.
“In fact all government parastatals have been shut down including the transport sector. There are compliance”.
Olaye said that the NLC doesn’t need the support of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to be able to send their messages to the federal government and cause the needed change as it has the numerical strengthen to do just that.
“TUC are not with us. They are on their own and we are not working with them on this two days warning strike.
“TUC, we don’t even count on them. They only have eight unions while NLC has 42 unions and so we are working with that and all the areas that are supposed to be shutdown have been shut down and anyone that does not comply with the strike action, a proper action will be taken against them”, Olaye said.
A visit by the Daily Sun to the state Secretariats saw workers milling around while others were seen in clusters probably discussing the effects of the two days warning strike may have on the nation’s economy.