Nineteen labor unions across various sectors in Nigeria have heeded the call to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike, following a directive from the National Executive Council of the country’s two prominent labor unions – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
This decision was reached during a meeting held on November 13, 2023, in Abuja. The strike action has been triggered by the perceived failure of the Federal Government to address critical issues affecting Nigerian workers, including concerns related to the minimum wage, insecurity, corruption, and overall governance.
Furthermore, the labor unions had previously tabled a set of demands, which the government allegedly neglected to address following a recent crisis in Imo State. This incident resulted in the alleged brutalization of the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, and other members of the labor unions.
Among the unions that have fully complied with the directives to join the nationwide strike are:
- The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
- The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
- The College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU).
- The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
- The National Union of Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE).
- The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP).
- The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).
- National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
- National Union of Postal and Telecommunication Employees (NUPTE).
- Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
- Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
- Nigeria Union of Public Service Reportorial, Secretarial, Data Processors and Allied Workers (NUPRSADPW).
- National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN).
- National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
- National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE).
- Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN).
- The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE).
- Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).
- Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NURW).
ASUU, in a letter signed by its National President, Emmanuel Osodeke, instructed all zonal coordinators and chairpersons of the union to ensure that their members participate in the nationwide strike as per the directives issued by NLC and TUC. The letter emphasized the union’s commitment to protecting the interests of Nigerian workers and labor union leadership.
Similarly, the National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees directed its staff to join the strike. In their statement, they said, “We hereby direct all our members in all Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions to stay off duty as from 14th November 2023 until otherwise directed by the Congress.”
Reports from various parts of the country indicate that the strike has already had a significant impact. Some schools in Ondo State have been forced to shut down, while banks and hospitals in other states have suspended their operations.
In addition to these disruptions, the Federal Capital Territory High Court officials have also complied with the strike declared by the NLC and TUC, underscoring the widespread participation and support for the nationwide industrial action.
As the strike continues, there are growing concerns about its potential economic and social repercussions, putting pressure on the government to urgently address the issues raised by the labor unions to restore normalcy and prevent further disruptions to the nation’s activities