The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is poised to lead Organised Labour in a two-day warning strike scheduled to commence on Tuesday, September 5. This action is in protest of the Federal Government’s perceived mishandling of the hardships resulting from the sudden removal of the petrol subsidy by President Bola Tinubu.

In a show of collective solidarity, Organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and their affiliates, launched a mass protest on August 2 against what they have termed “anti-people” policies championed by President Bola Tinubu. The protests reverberated across various states, including Lagos, Abia, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Zamfara, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, Ondo, and Edo, with demonstrators demanding a reversal of these policies.

The NLC had previously issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, demanding “the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government,” which encompassed recent hikes in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), public school fees, and the release of eight months’ withheld salaries for university lecturers and workers. Furthermore, Organised Labour rejected palliative measures and instead insisted on a substantial increase in the minimum wage, pushing for a raise from N30,000 to N200,000.

In response to these demands, the NLC temporarily suspended the nationwide mass protests, providing an opportunity for further negotiations and reconsideration. However, despite promises made, President Bola Tinubu has not taken any action regarding the review of the minimum wage or an increase in workers’ salaries since the removal of the petrol subsidy.

Instead, the President opted to allocate N5 billion in palliative intervention funds to all 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory. Organised Labour contends that such palliatives are insufficient substitutes for wage increases, particularly at a time when Nigerian workers are grappling with the economic challenges stemming from the removal of fuel subsidies and soaring inflation rates.

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