Nigeria’s two largest labour unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have initiated an indefinite nationwide strike despite a court order restraining their action. The strike aims to protest against the escalating cost of living and the recent surge in fuel prices in the country.
President Bola Tinubu’s government ended a long-standing petrol subsidy, a move that triggered objections from the unions. They’ve urged the government to reconsider its decision to scrap the subsidy, asserting that the funds saved from this measure should be directed toward social projects. Additionally, the unions demand a substantial increase in the minimum monthly wage, advocating for an elevation from approximately $36 to a proposed $120.
TUC President Festus Osifo has stated that the strike will continue until the government fulfills its responsibilities. However, an earlier court order from Abuja attempted to prohibit the unions from embarking on the strike.
The length of this strike remains uncertain, but its impact is anticipated to affect critical services in Nigeria, including hospitals, railway stations, and schools. This latest strike follows several previous attempts by the unions to push for their demands, including discussions with President Tinubu, which led to a temporary suspension of a strike last month.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to address their concerns within the stipulated timeframe, the unions have opted to resume the strike action, disregarding the court’s injunction.”