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Labour Strike Cripples Activities In Abuja, States

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The indefinite strike by the organised labour Tuesday paralysed government and business activities at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and in most states.The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress embarked on an indefinite strike on Tuesday in protest against the alleged assault on NLC President Joe Ajaero in Imo State on November 1.  

Daily Trust reports that official activities across the six area councils of the FCT were grounded as workers joined in the strike action. Those who turned up at the secretariat of the FCT Administration were chased out of their offices by labour officials enforcing compliance.Similarly, at the Federal Secretariat, only few civil servants were seen. Labour leaders had earlier stormed the secretariat to force the workers out of their offices.

At Kwali, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Abaji area councils, public schools and hospitals were deserted as teachers and health workers stayed off work. 

The secretariats of the Bwari and Abuja Municipal Area Councils were also under lock.The headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company in Abuja was also deserted as labour leaders prevented workers from accessing their offices.

The strike also affected commercial activities at seaports in Lagos as port users at the Apapa Port and Tin Can Island Port were shut out, while freight forwarders were barred from entering by labour union members.

The unions included the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP).

Others are the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees, the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the National Union of Electricity Employees, and the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers.

The strike comes on the heels of the physical assault NLC National President Joe Ajaero was subjected to in Imo State two weeks ago when he and other NLC members were in the South-East state for a demonstration over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.

Channels TV reports that the protest was viewed in some circles as an attempt to scuttle the re-election bid of Governor Hope Uzodimma in last Saturday’s governorship election.Following Ajaero’s ordeal, the organised labour called for a nationwide strike beginning today.

However, the National Industrial Court (NIC) restrained them from embarking on the strike action in the wake of the impasse with the Imo State Government.

Daily Trust , Channels TV

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