Lagos NLC, TUC Declare Indefinite Strike, Order Total Shutdown Starting Midnight

The Lagos State chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have declared an indefinite strike starting at midnight on Sunday, announcing a comprehensive shutdown of public utilities and services in Lagos.

This drastic action includes closing schools and government offices and disrupting the electricity and water supply, as detailed in a joint press briefing by the unions’ chairmen, Comrade Funmi Sessi and Comrade Gbenga Ekundayo, in Ikeja.

The unions have called on all affiliate sectors within Lagos to ensure strict adherence to the strike directives.

The strike is expected to disrupt ongoing West African School Examinations, with leaders advising parents to retain their children at home due to the unavailability of transportation.

Explaining the reasons behind the strike, the union leaders cited the federal government’s failure to finalize a new national minimum wage by the previously communicated deadline of May 31, 2024.

Recent increases in electricity tariffs, which they described as unilateral decisions made without comprehensive stakeholder consultations, exacerbated the situation.

“The total shutdown will see the cessation of operations in all government offices, schools, and hospitals, and will extend to transportation systems, leading to likely gridlocks and inaccessibility around the city,” stated the union leaders during the briefing.

“There will also be a complete blackout as we enforce a stop to the electricity supply, and water supply will be cut off.”

The union leaders emphasized the strike’s necessity, pointing to the growing disparities between the living standards of the rich and the poor, exacerbated by what they termed as insufficient wages amid rising costs of living.

“This is not just about wages. It’s about the dignity and survival of the Nigerian worker. It’s about ensuring that workers can afford basic life necessities without undue strain,” said Comrade Ekundayo.

The unions also highlighted that despite repeated dialogues and negotiations, the government has made little substantive progress or commitment, pushing them to the brink of this drastic measure.

They said, “Nigerian workers deserve fair and decent wages, but government continues to neglect its responsibility to the public. Rather, government increased the electricity tariff thereby impoverishing people further.

“We hereby issue a notice of commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike action.

“The proposed strike is as a result of the failure of the Nigerian state to:

“Agree on a new national minimum wage and subsequently pass it into law before the end of this month as they were notified

“Reverse the hike in electricity tariff without consulting the stakeholders as required by the Law to N225/kwh back to N66/kwh

“Stop the apartheid categorization of Nigerian electricity consumers into Bands.”

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