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NLC Begins Nationwide Strike | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Jun 3, 2024

Protesting Labour Unions





Striking workers have downed tools across the nation as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) begin their industrial action over the hike in electricity tariff and a lack of consensus on a new minimum wage.

While the National Assembly had stepped in at the last minute to avoid the industrial action declared on Friday, the discussions ended in a stalemate, leading to the commencement of the strike.

In compliance with the order, some workers in several parts of the country were shut out of their offices.

From River State in the South-South region to Kaduna in Nigeria’s North-West, the workers’ actions grounded economic activities.

Airport Entrance Shut In Port Harcourt
At the Port Harcourt Airport, as early as 7:00 am, airport workers under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) blocked access into the airport for vehicles.

This forced passengers to come down and walk into the airport. However, flights haven’t been disrupted and there is a heavy security presence.

According to the Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals Emmanuel Akagha, the passengers are still being allowed into the airport because the road leading to the airport connects some communities. He, however, said there’s no checking-in or boarding allowed.

Strike Grounds Activities In Kaduna
In Kaduna, students of the Kaduna Polytechnic have been locked out of their campus by labour officials in compliance with the nationwide indefinite strike. As early as 7 am, union officials stormed the Unguwan Rimi Campus of the school. They drove the students out of the institution and locked the gate.

Some of the students who spoke to Channels Television condemned the incident, asking labour to return to the negotiation table. They are worried that their academic calendar will be affected if the strike continues.

Labour leaders in the state also sealed the main gate of the National Ear Care Centre. They chased out the workers and also prevented out patients from getting into the hospital.

At the State Secretariat in the Kaduna State capital where about seven ministries are located, workers were locked outside of the gate by the labour union leaders. The main gate leading to the secretariat is under lock, with no going in or coming out.

Activities in banks and other financial institutions were also disrupted as the staff were not allowed to get into their offices by the labour union officials.

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has also shut down operations at the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO).

The Kaduna State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Abdullahi Danfulani said all affiliate unions are complying totally with the strike and won’t back down until the Federal Government does the needful.

Edo, Imo Workers Comply
Kaduna is not the only state where workers are complying with the labour order. Members of the NLC and TUC in Edo State are also joining their colleagues across the nation. They have locked up the State Secretariat in Benin City, shutting out civil servants from the complex. The unions say even though the state government recently increased the minimum wage to N70,000, they had to comply with the national body’s directive, maintaining that the strike is not targeted at the state.

In Imo State, officials of the NLC have locked out civil servants at the State Secretariat in Owerri the state capital.

An Unusual Monday Morning In Lagos

The situation is not different in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre Lagos as government offices have been shut.

In Alausa, where most state government offices are located, workers were locked out, and business activities were grounded.

Channels Television observed that the roads were unusually less busy for a Monday morning in Lagos.

The Lagos State Chairman of the NLC says the union is out to ensure compliance with the directive issued by its directive issued by executives.

Strike Begins In Ogun, Oyo, Cross River
Neighbouring Ogun State is also experiencing a crippling of economic activities. The Federal Secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital, is under lock and key. Workers stayed away from office in compliance with directives of the national leaderships of NLC and TUC.

The NLC Secretariat in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was also deserted. Students who turned up at school were sent back by their teachers in compliance with labour’s directive.

Workers in Cross River also joined the strike. Public schools did not also operate as the teachers and other states complied with the strike.

The NLC chairman in the state stressed that the Federal Government has refused to be realistic in its actions especially as it concerns the workers. Both fuel stations, schools, and banks across the metropolis complied with the exercise.

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