Stranded Cargos And Power Cuts As Workers Strike

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Workers have shut all of Lagos state’s ports on the first day of nationwide strikes in Nigeria.

The call from the country’s two biggest unions – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) – is not yet being observed everywhere but disruptions are expected at hospitals, railway stations and schools.

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Union members are demanding that salary arrears be paid, ghost workers be removed from the government payroll and for an inquiry into the recent assault of NLC President Joe Ajaero.

As of Monday afternoon, union members’ actions have caused:

  • Blackouts in parts of Nigeria as electricity union workers shut the grid – although the state power company denies this
  • Train passengers to be stranded in oil-rich Delta state and the economic hub Lagos
  • Pupils and teachers to be sent home from state primary and secondary schools – but some secondary schools in Ogun state have stayed open.

Some other unions are expected to join from Tuesday.

The government has described the strike action as illegal and “not in national interest”.

MediaageNG Stranded Cargos And Power Cuts As Workers Strike Workers have shut all of Lagos state's ports on the first day of nationwide strikes in Nigeria.

There is expected to be a meeting between the union and government representatives.

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The NLC and TUC are protesting against the rising cost of living and a hike in fuel prices.

They have been pushing President Bola Tinubu to reverse the scrapping of the popular decades-old petrol subsidy that had kept fuel prices low, but which the government said was draining its finances. It said that the money saved would be used for social projects.

The unions want the government to increase the minimum monthly wage to at least $120 (£97) from about $36 some of its “anti-people” economic policies.

The strike would continue until “governments at all levels wake up to their responsibilities”, TUC President Festus Osifo said in a statement.

It comes days after an industrial court in the capital, Abuja, placed a restraining order theoretically preventing the unions from going on strike.

It is unclear how long the strike will last this time, but it is expected to affect major services at hospitals, railway stations and schools in Africa’s biggest economy.

The unions have threatened to go on strike at least three times since President Tinubu came to office in May.

They suspended a strike last month pending discussions with the government – following a meeting with the president on the first day of the strike.

But they say the government failed to meet their demands within a given one-month deadline.

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