Nigeria’s two largest labor unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have instructed their members to commence an indefinite nationwide strike and stay at home starting Tuesday, defying a court order prohibiting such action.
The protest is in response to the escalating cost of living and a surge in fuel prices.
The unions have been urging President Bola Tinubu to reverse the elimination of the longstanding petrol subsidy, which had maintained low fuel prices but was deemed financially draining by the government. The government asserted that the funds saved would be redirected towards social projects.
Central to their demands, the unions are calling for an increase in the minimum monthly wage to at least $120 (£97), denouncing some of the government’s economic policies as “anti-people.”
The strike will remain until “governments at all levels wake up to their responsibilities”, TUC President Festus Osifo said in a statement.
The strike announcement comes in the wake of a recent restraining order by an industrial court in the capital, Abuja, theoretically barring the unions from initiating the strike.
The duration of the strike remains uncertain, but it is anticipated to impact crucial services in hospitals, railway stations, and schools in Africa’s largest economy.