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Lagos workers ignore NLC as strike actions fail in many states

Workers in Lagos state today Wednesday, May 18, 2016 ignored the call by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to down their tools in protest against the Federal Government’s removal of subsidy on petrol.

The FG had announced a new price cap of a maximum of N145 to the consternation of the Labour Unions but after negotiations with government, a faction of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) pulled out of the strike.

Some Lagos workers who spoke to on the basis of anonymity said they all came to work today as everybody is scared for their jobs. “Nobody wants to lose his or her job because of one phantom strike action. Our union leaders here have gone to join the NLC leaders in Abuja for their protests but they can’t force us to join them. We have no interest in the strike,” she said.

Meanwhile, normal activities are continuing in Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, and Jigawa states, as residents ignored the call by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on strike over the increase in pump price of fuel. According to NAN, there was partial compliance in Gombe state.

In those states, key institutions like banks, schools, state and federal secretariats, hospitals, markets and all major commercial, centres were open for normal activities.

In Bauchi where some youths demonstrated the previous day in support of the deregulation of the downstream oil sector, labour officials did not attempt to enforce the strike.

A civil servant working with the state government, Sanusi Ibrahim, said most workers were not in support of the strike.

“When we were not paid our salary for over eight months, what did the NLC do? Before the removal of subsidy, we were buying fuel at the cost of N300 per litre; in some states, even N500. Now the fuel is available at maximum of N145. The NLC should leave us alone,” he said.

Normal activities are also going on in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, with banks, schools, hospitals, state and federal secretariats open for business.

Many people who spoke on the failure of the strike said they were not convinced that the action was the best alternative in the present circumstance.

Mallam Adamu Danwanzam, the chairman of Yola Perishable Food Items Sellers Association, said his members were not in support of the strike action.

Also speaking, the state chairman of Private School Proprietors in Adamawa, Hajiya Dijatu Balla, said her members had no business with the strike action.

Malam Husaini Isa, chairman of Commercial Tricycle Association in Adamawa, also distanced his members from the strike, pointing out that for many months, his members had been buying fuel for N200 per litre, as such the new prize of N145 per litre was a relief.

The situation is the same in Dutse as people went about their normal businesses.


Daniel Fayemi for




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