Nigeria: International Trade Union Movement Urges Government to Seek Peaceful Resolution to Conflict

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria are staging an indefinite general strike, launched on 9 January, in protest at the government’s removal of fuel subsidies - a unilateral decision taken without consulting the social partners and which has led petrol prices to double.

The strike action has gathered widespread support across the country, where the vast majority of the population has to live on less than two dollars a day.

The president and his government have responded to the protests with brutal repression rather than seeking a peaceful resolution to the dispute. Around twenty people have been killed and hundreds have been injured in the country’s main cities, and there are no signs of a decline in this trend.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and its affiliated organisations have firmly denounced and condemned the inexplicable use of violence to resolve the dispute. They have drawn the attention of the president and his government to the disastrous consequences their actions could have on the lives of Nigeria’s people and the country’s stability.

The ITUC and its affiliated organisations have called on the Nigerian government to end the unjustified intimidation, victimisation and bloodshed, and to engage in a genuine dialogue with the trade unions, with a view to seeking a fair and lasting solution to the state of affairs.
"We reaffirm our total support for the action being waged by our Nigerian affiliates," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. "We are calling on all our affiliates around the world.