• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
businessday logo


Labour taps picketing team as, Abuja residents shun NLC strike

Strike: Senate summons labour unions over nationwide strike

Residents in the federal capital territory shunned the notice of industrial strike action issued by the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday as they went about their duties.

A Businessday correspondent who visited some institutions, including the Federal Secretariat and some banks within the city centre, observed that workers had resumed office as usual.

A staff member of the Ministry of Education simply identified himself as Aliyu and said, “We are not on strike here; as you can see, everyone is at work. We even had an event this morning and everyone is relaxed.

“The NLC is not serious; when we expected this strike, they didn’t call for it. Why would they expect us to stay away from work because their leader was beaten? For me, the reason is not strong enough. Maybe when they call for another strike, we will join but this one, no one is interested.”

Businessday observed that staff of the Ministry of Health, National Hospital, Ministry of Niger Delta, Labour, and Access Bank were on duty.

“The strike action is long overdue; we had expected that the Congress would go on strike as a result of an increase in fuel prices, inflation, and the cost of everything high, but we didn’t see them or hear that they were going on strike, but they expect us to now join their strike because of what?, madam Uju questioned.

A senior staff member at the Ministry of Labour and Employment who pleaded anonymity said that civil servants were not interested in joining the strike because it was of no benefit to them. For her, Congress failed to identify with the sufferings of civil servants occasioned by the increase in fuel prices and high inflation, according to her affected workers.

Read also: Labour sends team to enforce strike

Fesus Osifo, President of the Trade Union Congress, declared the strike action on Monday, stating that the federal government has failed to meet its conditions to avert the strike.

“We said those who brutalized our President should be relieved of their jobs and prosecuted.

Labour strike

“Instead of taking action, some government officials started ruling their mouths. At 12 midnight on Tuesday, all the arms of the NLC have been mobilised to start strike action,” he said.

The decision came despite the decision by the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, which had earlier restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and their affiliates from embarking on any strike or industrial action.

This is just as officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) were seen on Tuesday moving around to enforce the strike declared by organised labour on Tuesday.

BusinessDay gathered at the Local Authority School Kuje to say that children who reported early to school were sent back by the enforcement team

It was also gathered that, apart from government establishments, owners of private businesses were seen operating their shops, while private schools were opened

BusinessDay checks revealed that many were not aware of the declaration by labour to go on strike as of Tuesday, the first day of the strike.

One of the staff of the Ministry of Education who spoke to BusinessDay, on the ground of anonymity, said he wasn’t aware of the declaration by Labour to proceed on strike.

BusinessDay checks also revealed that some of the filling stations had shut down, while only the NNPC filling station at Lugbe, along the Nnamdi Azikwe airport road, Abuja, was attending to customers.

The situation led to long queues as many motorists struggled to buy fuel.

More later…