Banks and Insurance Firms to Join NLC’s Two-Day Strike Amidst ‘Punishing Economic Circumstances’.
In response to the call from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for a nationwide strike to protest various economic issues, the National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has declared its support and participation in the two-day strike action.
This announcement comes as tensions rise over issues such as the hike in petrol pump prices and electricity tariffs, among others, with the NLC accusing the federal government of neglecting negotiations and failing to implement previously agreed-upon resolutions.
The nationwide industrial action is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
NUBIFIE, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mohammed Sheikh, has directed all its members to abstain from work during the two-day strike.
This directive will affect employees in prominent Nigerian banks like GTB, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, as well as personnel in insurance companies.
The statement, dated September 2, 2023, reads, “In line with the communique issued after the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on Thursday, August 31, 2023, that all affiliates should direct all its members to commence two days’ withdrawal of services from Tuesday, September 5, and Wednesday, September 6, 2023.”
It goes on to emphasize the importance of this directive in drawing the government’s attention to the pressing economic challenges faced by the citizens:
“The directive is imperative to get the needed attention of the government and warn it of its newfound love for meddling in the internal affairs of unions rather than addressing the punishing economic circumstances we find ourselves in.”
Commenting on the union’s decision to participate in the strike, Abakpa Anthony, President of NUBIFIE, highlighted that employees in the banking and insurance sectors are also grappling with the economic hardships faced by the general populace.
He stated, “You know we are also part of the suffering, hence the reason why we must join the NLC in the strike. The directive stands unless the federal government says otherwise.”
As the strike action looms, it remains to be seen how this collective effort by the NLC and NUBIFIE will impact the ongoing discussions and negotiations between the government and labor unions regarding critical economic issues.