A significant rift between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has resulted in only partial compliance with the two-day warning strike declared by Nigerian workers. This strike was initiated due to delays in implementing government-promised palliatives following the removal of fuel subsidies,leadership reports.
Across different states, the NLC and TUC adopted opposing stances regarding the strike’s continuation into the second day. The TUC opposed the strike, believing it wouldn’t achieve the desired outcomes. Comrade Monday Ogbodum, the TUC chairman in Cross River State, criticized the NLC’s leadership, labeling them as insensitive. The TUC expressed non-support for the strike due to the NLC’s failure to follow due process before calling its members to action, considering it unnecessary.
Ogbodum emphasized the importance of dialogue and proper negotiation channels, highlighting that the government had previously agreed to palliatives and refinery rehabilitation through such negotiations. He stressed that strikes should be a last resort if negotiations failed and emphasized the need for due process.
Despite the TUC’s call for its members to abstain from the strike, Akwa Ibom State experienced full compliance with the industrial action. In contrast, Lagos State and the private sector chose not to participate, leading to normal business operations.
While the strike affected the maritime sector significantly, other sectors such as banking and insurance continued their activities as usual. The strike mainly targeted workers staying off duty, so civil servants under state and local governments did not join the strike.
In Kwara State, government offices remained closed as civil servants adhered to the NLC’s directive, while private businesses continued normal operations. Some commercial banks also operated despite the strike.
The Trade Union Congress in Bayelsa State was accused by the NLC of sabotaging the strike effort due to its non-compliance. TUC members were seen in offices at the State Secretariat, while NLC members adhered to the strike directive. The TUC defended its stance, citing a lack of proper communication and synergy between the two labor centers.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) witnessed partial compliance with the strike in government ministries, departments, and agencies. The Federal Secretariat and some banks inside it were largely shut down. However, other major government agencies like the FCTA, FCDA, and Treasury House, as well as Zenith Bank branches outside the secretariat, continued their activities unaffected by the strike.
Aare Oladotun Hassan, the global president of Yoruba Council Worldwide, criticized the strike as unnecessary and called for investigations into its instigators, suggesting that other issues like insecurity needed more attention than the fuel subsidy removal.