NLC, TUC nationwide strike records mixed compliance in states

The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, nationwide strike recorded mixed compliance across the states, yesterday. While some states were shut down with banks, public schools, courts and others shut down, some states recorded partial compliance and a few did not comply.

The directives of the two labour bodies were carried out in Lagos, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Kebbi, and Edo among others.

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In Kano, banks and schools were shut as the government suspended qualifying examinations. Also schools were shut in Osogbo, the Osun State capital with the police beefing up security to avoid breakdown of law and order

In Imo, there was partial compliance as banks opened for business.

However, workers shunned the industrial action in Enugu and Abuja, with Labour leaders saying they would ensure strike in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, today.

The two unions in the nation’s public universities disagreed over the strike. While the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, asked its members to join the strike, the ‘ Congress of University Academics, CONUA, directed its members to shun the action.

This is coming as the Organised Labour pooh-poohed claims by the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, that the ongoing nationwide strike was an ego trip intended to ‘blackmail the government.’ It insisted that the strike was not a personal matter affecting the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, as alleged.

On November 13, 2023, the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the labour unions, in Abuja, resolved to embark on the strike due to the alleged failure of the Federal Government to address issues affecting workers such as the minimum wage, insecurity, corruption, and poor governance.

Also, both unions said they had made some demands, which the government allegedly failed to address following the recent crisis in Imo that resulted in the brutalisation of Ajaero, and other members of the labour unions.

Apart from the brutalisation of Ajaero, other labour leaders, and journalists, other grievances of Organized Labour include outstanding salary arrears, unjust declaration of 11,000 workers as ghost employees, unsettled gratuities, non-compliance of N30,000 minimum wage act, and declaration of 10,000 pensioners as ghost retirees.

The Federal Government on November 13 warned both unions against embarking on their planned strike, saying it would amount to contempt of court.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, in a statement, said the government had obtained a restraining order from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria barring the unions from going ahead with the strike.

Labour leaders expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance on Day One, noting that the compliance level would be much better in the coming days.

As of yesterday among the major critical sectors that fully complied with the strike were workers in the Maritime sector who shut the Ports formations in Lagos, Rivers, Cross River and Delta states.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN in compliance with the Labour directive, shutdown port operations at Apapa and Tin-can Island.

This is even as freight forwarders have called on the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy as well as the management of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC to ensure that terminal operators and shipping lines do not slam demurrage on them for the duration of the strike.

Similarly, workers in the Food, Beverage and Tobacco, Chemical and Non-metallic Products and the Construction sectors, fully complied.


The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, directed its members nationwide to join the industrial action via a circular by its General Secretary, Lumumba Okungbowa.

Speaking on the Day One of the strike, Deputy President of TUC, Dr Tommy Okon, said: “We are very happy about the level of compliance so far. Many workers received the notice from their unions very late yesterday (Monday). I can authoritatively tell you there will be 100 percent compliance in the coming days.”


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