• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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NLC, TUC mobilize for protest over failed cost-of living agreement, fuel queues return

Nigerian labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are ramping up mobilization efforts for a nationwide protest planned for February 27 and 28, demanding the immediate implementation of an agreement reached with the Federal Government to address the escalating cost-of-living crisis.

Rising frustration fuels action

Sources who spoke  within the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) leadership disclosed to PUNCH  that the National Executive Council (NEC) convened virtually on February 16 to review the progress on the agreement. Growing frustration with the government’s inaction on key promises led the unions to reiterate their demand for swift implementation.

“The NLC, at its Zoom meeting held on Friday, February 16, 2024, resolved to demand the implementation of the agreement with the Federal Government without further delay,” confirmed a source close to the discussions.

Ultimatum expires, protest looms

The government’s failure to meet the 14-day ultimatum issued by the unions on February 8 has triggered the planned two-day nationwide protest. NLC Head of Information, Benson Upah, confirmed the mobilization efforts and the unwavering commitment to the action.

“Why would we back down? Has anything changed to warrant that? For your information, we are mobilizing in earnest,” Upah declared, dismissing any suggestion of backing down from the protest.

Union memo details mobilization strategy

A memo obtained by Financial Times Nigeria, dated February 18 and signed by the General Secretary of the National Union of Public Service Reportorial, Secretarial, Data Processors, and Allied Workers Union (NUPSRW), confirms the NEC meeting’s resolution and outlines the mobilization strategy.

The memo emphasizes the importance of immediate action by unions and their members, urging collaboration between state and federal NLC chapters to ensure “active participation” in the protest.

Fuel scarcity concerns add to tensions

As labor unions mobilize, concerns about a potential fuel crisis have surfaced. The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) commenced a strike on February 19, citing high operational costs. This strike has already resulted in fuel queues in several major cities, raising fears of further disruption and hardship.