The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Pure Gasoline Staff (NUPENG) has put its members on alert for a nationwide strike after labour leaders had been attacked and brutalized within the southeastern state of Imo.
NUPENG President Prince Williams Akporeha condemned the assault in a press release on Wednesday, calling it an “act of violence and barbarism” that “can’t be accepted in a democracy.”
The assault came about on Tuesday as labour leaders had been getting ready to start a protest over unpaid salaries and allowances. In response to stories, suspected brokers of the Imo state authorities descended on the protesters, smashing automobiles and stealing valuables.
NUPENG has warned that it’s going to name a nationwide strike if the Imo state authorities doesn’t launch the arrested labour leaders and deal with the grievances of its staff.
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The assault on labour leaders in Imo state is a critical escalation of the continued battle between the federal government and its staff. NUPENG is likely one of the strongest unions in Nigeria, and its members play an important position within the oil and fuel business. A nationwide strike by NUPENG would have a major impression on the Nigerian financial system.
The Imo state authorities has not but commented on the assault, but it surely has a historical past of utilizing violence and intimidation in opposition to its staff. In 2022, the federal government demolished the NLC secretariat in Owerri, the state capital.
The assault on labour leaders can also be an indication of the rising tensions in Nigeria forward of the 2023 presidential election. The nation is going through a number of financial challenges, together with excessive inflation and unemployment. The labour unions demand that the federal government do extra to deal with these challenges.
The Imo state authorities ought to instantly launch the arrested labour leaders and deal with the grievances of its staff. It is usually necessary for the federal government to create an area for dialogue and negotiation with the labour unions. If the federal government fails to take action, the chance of a nationwide strike is excessive.