Nigerian Labour Unions Lock Out Staff, Visitors, Lawmakers from National Assembly complex

 The National Assembly staff as well as visitors going into or coming out of offices within the Assembly complex were prevented from doing so as of 6 a.m on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

For the second day, members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have stormed the National Assembly to enforce a nationwide industrial action over a dispute with the Nigerian government.

However, lawmakers who had earlier, on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, made it into both chambers went ahead with their parliamentary duties.

The strike is coming on the instructions of the NLC after its national executive council meeting held at the weekend, directing all affiliates of the congress to strictly comply.

The NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had taken the decision after their joint meeting in Abuja, prompted by alleged infractions and encroachments of the rights of workers, the assault on the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, during a protest in Imo State and the continued refusal of government to implement some of their agreements reached.

The National Assembly in-house union, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), an affiliation of the national body, had directed its members to shut all gates or entrances into the National Assembly in compliance with the directive.

A member of the in-house union, who prefers to be anonymous, said they were complying with the directives in solidarity with their parent body.

“This is what we want. It is good for the country and democracy. We are exercising our rights.

“We want the government to speak. What happened to Ajaero can happen to anyone of us. Let the government do the needful,” he said.

Recall that the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress announced a nationwide indefinite strike starting on Tuesday despite a court order restraining the unions from doing so.

The Presidency, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, said the strike action by unions was a flagrant disobedience to court order and a lack of respect for the Judiciary.

The government expressed displeasure, saying that the nation’s economy and social activities should not suffer because of the personal interest of any labour leader.