Blackout looms as Nigerian electricity workers join labour unions’ planned strike

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Nigeria’s organized labor had declared an indefinite nationwide strike to pressure the government to address the hardships associated with fuel subsidy removal.

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has directed its members to commence full mobilization to ensure compliance with the directive of the Nigerian labor unions to embark on an indefinite strike.

Nigeria’s organized labor had declared an indefinite nationwide strike to pressure the government to address the hardships associated with fuel subsidy removal.

The NUEE in a notice signed by its acting general secretary, Dominic Igwebike, on Thursday, urged its members to comply with the directive and stop work from the early hours of Tuesday.

The NUEE members’ strike could throw the country into darkness, given the workers’ critical roles in electricity distribution in the country.

Nigerians in many parts of the country including the Federal Capital Territory, suffered blackout running into days when the organized labor embarked on a warning strike earlier in the month.

The NUEE’s call on its members to join the indefinite strike as from 3 October comes on the heels of similar call by the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) on its members to withdraw their services, raising fears about possible scarcity of fuel across the country.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had on Tuesday announced their plan to embark on an indefinite strike from 3 October over the prevailing hardship due to the removal of subsidy on petrol.

The TUC said, “The strike is to demonstrate our resolve for a truly independent Nigeria; to take our destinies in our own hands and rescue our nation.”

In a statement Thursday, NUEE urged its members to totally withdraw its services and participate in street protests and rallies “until the government responds to our demands”.

“Further to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on September 26, 2023 and the Joint Press Conference of Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress over the untold hardships being faced by Nigerians as a consequence of the high price of petroleum resulting from the removal of fuel subsidy as well as other anti-labor policies by the Government, the NLC and TUC have declared an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation beginning on zero hours of Tuesday, 3d October 2023.

“Hence, we are to totally withdraw our services and participate in street protests and rallies until the Government responds to our demands,” it said.

To this effect, it said all national, state and chapter executives are requested to start the mobilization of our members in total compliance with this directive.

“Please note that withdrawal of Services nationwide commences from 0.00 hours of Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

“You are encouraged to work with the leadership of State Executive Councils (SEC) of the Congress in your various States with a view to having a successful action,” the statement said.