Following the declaration of an indefinite strike by organised trade unions, electricity workers have shut down the national grid.
In an interview with the Daily Post on Tuesday, Ndidi Mbah, the spokesperson for Transmission Company of Nigeria, verified this.
According to her, electrical workers, led by the National Union of electrical Employees (NUEE), withdrew their services at 11:20 a.m. on Monday, resulting in a nationwide blackout.
“Electricity workers are NLC members; they’ve followed the directive by organized labour to withdraw their services from Tuesday”, she stated.
Remember that the Nigeria Labour Congress Trade Union Congress declared a statewide indefinite strike beginning Tuesday, despite a court ruling prohibiting the unions from doing so.
The NLC released circulars from the unions certifying their compliance with the instruction in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning.
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) were among the unions represented.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), the National Union of Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the National Union of Electricity Employees, and the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers are among the others.
The strike follows the physical assault on NLC National President Joe Ajaero in Imo State two weeks ago, when he and other NLC members were there for a demonstration against “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights.”
Some saw the demonstration as an attempt to derail Governor Hope Uzodimma’s re-election bid in last Saturday’s governorship election.
Following Ajaero’s trauma, organised labour declared a statewide strike to begin today.
However, due to the standoff with the Imo State Government, the National Industrial Court (NIC) barred them from going on strike.
In spite of the court order, the unions, in a statement on Monday, directed workers nationwide to withdraw their services at midnight.
“In furtherance to the decision of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC and TUC, all workers in Nigeria are hereby directed to withdraw their services effective 12:00 midnight today, 13th November 2023,” the unions said in a joint statement.
“Consequently, all affiliates and state councils of NLC/TUC are directed to issue circulars for maximum compliance and these circulars be made available to the National Secretariats or posted to the NEC and CWC Whatsapp Platforms.”
While assuring members that more information regarding the statewide strike would be provided, organised labour urged them to “remain assured of our commitment to Nigerian workers and people.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency, in a statement issued by Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, said strike action by unions constituted a brazen defiance of court orders and a lack of respect for the justice.