When Labour Shut Down Nigeria!
By Oke Ogunde, Lagos
Friday, 22 June 2007
Wednesday June 20th 2007, was the day that the strike action called jointly by the two labour Centres in Nigeria commenced nationwide. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had called the strike action as a response to the 15% increase in the price of petroleum products, 100% increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), the rushed sales of two major government-owned refineries and to demand a 15% increase in the salary of public service workers.
The strike took off after the fourteen days ultimatum given by the labour centres lapsed and the newly "elected" government of Umaru Yar'adua refused to heed the demands of labour. The Yar'adua People's Democratic Party's (PDP) regime was just 23 days in office when the strike commenced and this development has raised a series of class-related issues about what this regime represents.