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Cablegate: Nigeria Strike to Resume November 16, Include Oil

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

011152Z Nov 04

UNCLAS ABUJA 001837

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EPET ELAB PINS NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA STRIKE TO RESUME NOVEMBER 16, INCLUDE OIL
PRODUCTION AND EXPORTS

REF: A. ABUJA 1761 AND PREVIOUS

B. LAGOS 2107 AND PREVIOUS

1. This is a joint Embassy Abuja - Consulate Lagos Report.

2. The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) and allied civil society
organizations met October 31 in Lagos, announcing that the
NLC would resume on November 16 its nationwide strike against
gasoline price increases, and threatening that this time the
strike would include cutting off oil production and oil
exports. The first round, October 11-14, saw widespread
compliance with the NLC's call for Nigerians to stay home
from work, but was not aimed at oil production or exports
(reftels). NLC president Adams Oshiomhole told the BBC that
the strike would continue this time until the September price
rise is reversed.

3. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Royal Dutch
Shell's joint venture with the GON, filed a motion in the
Lagos High Court to prevent the two oil-sector unions NUPENG
and PENGASSAN from participating in the strike. Shell argued
that the strike is unrelated to workplace issues, and
therefore illegal. Hundreds of labor and human rights
activists, including Oshiomhole, attended the court session,
and the judge adjourned the hearing until November 18. NLC
leaders branded Shell "an enemy of the Nigerian people" and
called for action against the company, according to the BBC.

4. One of the NLC's Central Working Committee members, Ben
Upah, told us that the NLC plans to produce a more
comprehensive list of demands by November 16, including a
possible demand for wage increases of 25 percent. He added
that the NLC plans to disrupt oil production and exports, not
only Shell's, and was holding consultations with both oil
unions and others to ensure maximum impact. "Though I do not
want to preempt the outcome of our deliberations, however, I
can assure you that we plan to hit this government (the GON)
if we finally go on strike."
CAMPBELL

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