Teachers’ strikes continue across Europe over pay, staff shortages and funding; UK strike wave continues among postal, telecom and dock workers; protests and strikes over death of Iranian Mahsa Amini enter sixth week

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

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Teachers’ strikes continue across Europe over pay, staff shortages and funding

Strikes and mass protests continue by teachers, other education workers and students across Europe. Major struggles began at the start of the school year in September and continue into the middle of term.

In Hungary on Thursday, teachers walked out on another one-day national stoppage over pay and conditions, defying government attempts to ban their long-running strike movement. A court order declared strikes “illegal” and imposed draconian minimum service requirements. At least five teachers were fired for taking part in the strikes, prompting protests by hundreds of teachers and pupils.

24.hu reported on numerous picket lines outside schools and public protests, which were joined by parents and children. On Sunday, many teachers also joined a rally of thousands in Budapest as inflation rose above 20 percent. Another national school strike is planned on November 18.

Around 2,000 pre-school teachers in Croatia joined a protest in Zagreb on Saturday, opposing the poor state of school infrastructure, staffing levels and demanding the resignation of the minister of education. The Union of Education, Media and Culture said there is a national shortage of 5,000 teachers, and according to Novosti many teachers at the two-hour protest raised the slogan, “Kindergartens are not detention centres, kindergartens are educational institutions.”

Workers in Norwegian kindergartens also continue an indefinite strike, now in its second week, after 2,000 educators walked out in a dispute over pensions. Workers at private sector kindergartens demand equality with public sector workers doing the same job.

The National Association of Private Kindergartens estimated the cost of meeting workers’ demands as 1.4 billion kroner, claiming paying this out would lead to “catastrophic consequences for many kindergartens that are already struggling to make ends meet.” However, FriFagbevegelse interviewed economist Trond Erik Lunder, who pointed out that private kindergartens made seven billion kroner in profits between 2014 and 2020. Between the operators’ profits and property sales, Lunder estimated that 11.2 billion kroner was extracted from kindergartens in that period.

In Portugal, the National Federation of Teachers called an overtime ban and boycott of administrative duties for its members in schools from Tuesday, ahead of a planned national strike next week. According to Lusa, teachers oppose understaffing and underfunding of schools, as well as the widespread use of insecure contracts.

Students also joined numerous protests against conditions in schools and universities. In the Italian province of Medio Campidano, school pupils walked out of school for a day on Monday, demanding safer, less crowded and more punctual school buses.

Some students told ANSA they often arrived in school after the first lesson of the day finished and were never certain what time they would get home.

In France, students at one high school in the city of Le Mans picketed outside their school for four days last week, opposing the government’s school “reforms.” One student told Ouest France they opposed “the low salaries of teachers and all workers who do not have enough to live on … Our fight is also directed against global warming.”

Students from schools and universities in Spain held widespread protests on Thursday, called by the Union of Students to demand increased funding for mental health support and free education.

University lecturers in Albania began an indefinite walkout last week, demanding a 50 percent salary increase over two years. According to Euractiv, students joined their lecturers at a protest at the start of the strike. The chairman of the opposition Democratic Party pointed out that despite Albania having a larger budget than neighbouring Kosovo, salaries at Albania’s largest university, the University of Tirana, are half those in the University of Pristina in Kosovo.

One-day national pay strike in France

On Thursday, workers throughout France joined a one-day national strike called by the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), following a similar one-day stoppage last week. The CGT told the media it had deliberately planned a strike with smaller participation than last week’s.

According to France Bleu, the CGT claimed last week’s stoppage was to enable a “broadening of social movements” and was disappointed when this did not happen. This is a cynical excuse, as the one-day stoppage, reportedly involving many workers from oil refineries, nuclear power plants at state-owned EDF and transport workers, was intended to blow off steam while the unions work to systematically shut down struggles.

The nationwide strike of oil workers at TotalEnergies was limited to two sites, and the CGT and other unions signed a preliminary agreement with EDF with a general pay increase of between 2.5 and five percent, below current inflation of 5.6 percent.

Healthcare workers strike over pay and conditions in Nantes, France

Healthcare workers in multiple hospitals and care homes in the French city Nantes began strikes recently against low pay, unbearable working conditions and unsafe staffing levels.

On Monday, workers in the emergency department of Nantes University Hospital began an indefinite symbolic strike, continuing to care for patients but protesting as they worked.

Force Ouvrière, the CGT and Solidaires union members walked out after the announcement that capacity would be reduced by sixteen beds, which according to Ouest France was the last straw after the deterioration of working conditions and waiting times.

Workers at the private Jules Verne clinic in Nantes also began an indefinite strike last week, with 250 protesting outside the clinic on October 20, according to Ouest France. A representative of the Solidaires union told the paper salaries at the clinic were between 400 and 1,000 euros lower than in public sector hospitals. Workers oppose deteriorating working conditions and a restructuring plan imposed on them.

At the Seilleraye care home in Nantes, workers also continue an indefinite strike begun on October 17. According to Ouest France, the French Democratic Confederation of Labour accuses management of understaffing the clinic, which “deteriorates working conditions and forces the remaining staff to take care of the elderly in a degraded mode of work.”

Workers at Piraeus port in Greece hold one-day strike against major restructuring

Dock workers in Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, held a one-day strike on Tuesday against government plans to terminate collective agreements in the sector, Kathimerini reported. Four of the unions at the port said the government and ship owners are “set on abolishing everything that has been won with struggles and sacrifices.”

Another union, ENEDEP, called a strike in the two privatised piers in Piraeus, owned by the multinational Cosco.

ef.syn quoted ENEDEP’s statement that Tuesday was the anniversary of the death of Dimitris Daglis, killed last year in an industrial accident at the port, triggering a seven-day strike by ENEDEP members.

Metal workers hold three days of pay strikes in Bizkaia, Spain

Metal workers in the Spanish province of Bizkaia began a two-day strike on Thursday, with another one-day stoppage planned next week, demanding a pay rise which meets inflation.

According to Europa Press, around 52,000 workers were covered by the strike notices filed by four unions in the sector after the employers’ association made an offer which “still does not guarantee the purchasing power of people.”

Airline workers at Vueling in Spain begin partial strikes, Ryanair strikes continue over pay

Workers at Vueling, Spain’s largest airline and a subsidiary of the International Airlines Group, begin a campaign of strikes next week. They will join cabin crew at Ryanair, who have been holding partial strikes since August.

At both Vueling and Ryanair, workers will walk out several days each week until January.

Airline Flight Attendants Union members at Vueling will stop work on Fridays, Sundays, Mondays and holidays every week, ABC reported, while the second-largest union at the company, the Workers’ Commissions refused to call its members to join the strikes. Vueling workers demand a 13.4 percent pay rise for the year.

The impact of the strike at Ryanair was limited by the PSOE-Podemos government’s imposition of draconian minimum service requirements of between 57 and 82 percent of flights. Ryanair fired at least 11 workers whom it accused of defying the effective strike ban. Minimum service requirements for the Vueling strike have yet to be announced

Warning strike at university hospitals in several German cities

Healthcare workers at several university hospitals across Germany began a rolling wave of warning strikes on Monday. They were called by the United Services Union (Verdi), which is negotiating conditions for 26,000 workers in university hospitals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

On the first strike day, at two hospitals in Ulm and Tübingen in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Verdi estimated that 1,000 workers stopped work. The employers’ association in the state offered a one-off payment of 2,100 euros and a six percent pay increase by January 2024. If inflation remains at its current level of 10 percent, workers’ pay would be massively eroded over the term of the agreement. Further warning strikes took place in Heidelberg and Freiburg.

Bus drivers begin five-day pay strike in German state of Schleswig-Holstein

On Monday, bus drivers in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein began a five-day strike as part of a long-running dispute with the association representing private bus companies.

Verdi is calling for hourly wages to be increased by 1.95 euros to compensate for inflation, which has recently leapt to 10 percent. The bus companies are offering a 3.5 percent pay rise from October 1, with an even smaller increase in 2023, on top of a one-off bonus of only 300 euros.

UK postal workers’ stoppage over pay and attack on jobs and conditions

Around 115,000 UK postal workers held a 24-hour strike on Tuesday. It was the eighth stoppage in a programme of strikes by Royal Mail staff responsible for sorting and delivering letter and parcels to homes and businesses.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) members demand improved pay and oppose plans to reorganise the postal service, which would entail job losses and increased exploitation.

An additional 16 strike days are planned, with another company-wide stoppage due Friday. Sectional strikes covering network staff will also be held on November 2, 8, 14, 23 and 30. Workers in processing, area distribution, international, collections, admin and manual data entry will strike on November 3, 9, 15, 24 and December 1. Delivery workers will strike on November 4, 10, 16, 25 and December 2.

The planned action will cover busy periods for parcels, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in the run-up to Christmas.

Further nationwide pay strike by UK telecom workers

Around 40,000 BT and Openreach call centre workers and engineers in the UK walked out on Monday, the eighth such stoppage.

It follows strikes earlier in the month when they were joined by 999 emergency call staff, who did not take part in the previous four days of action begun end of July.

The CWU members oppose management’s implementation of a flat rate pay rise of £1,500 in April. The CWU announced plans to re-ballot its entire BT workforce, including those working for EE. The union also had meetings with large institutional investors in BT to try to persuade them to put pressure on BT to come up with a settlement.

Unison union suspends its ballot of health staff in Scotland to put new pay offer to membership

The Unison union in Scotland suspended its ballot of members working in health and will ballot them on a new, below-inflation, pay offer from the Scottish government.

The Scottish government’s offer came at a meeting with Unison and the other health unions held October 20.

Unison, representing around 50,000 Scottish NHS staff, is the largest union. The deal from the Scottish government is for a lump sum across-the-board payment of £2,205. For those on an average salary, this is a seven percent rise, while for the lowest paid it represents an 11 percent rise. For qualified nursing staff it represents 8.45 percent. RPI inflation is at 12.6 percent.

Unison members will vote electronically on the offer next week. The deal applies to around 154,000 staff working for the NHS in Scotland, including nurses, paramedics, domestic staff, porters and health care support staff who are covered by the Agenda for Change pay and grades system.

The other four health unions are not recommending the deal and are proceeding with their balloting.

Further round of strikes by dockers in Liverpool, UK over pay

Around 600 UK dockers at the Mersey Docks and Harbour company (MDHC) in Liverpool began a third round of strikes Monday.

The Unite union members launched the two-week strike following a one-week stoppage earlier this month. The second round saw control operating staff join the dispute. An initial two-week strike was launched in September.

During the dispute, the company provocatively issued formal redundancy notices for 132 of the workers. Talks broke down at the end of last week, with Unite accusing the company of sabotaging them. Quoted in a Guardian article of October 23, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The talks ended in farce, with the deal agreed between Unite and senior management being pulled by the board [of Peel Ports].”

The dockers rejected the latest pay offer, which according to the Guardian was for 11 percent.

MDHC is part of Peel Ports, owned by the Peel Group which is based on the Isle of Man tax haven. Peel Ports paid out around £300 million in dividends the past five years.

On September 27, more than 1,900 dock workers at the largest UK container port, Felixstowe on the east coast of England, ended their second round of eight-day strike action. They oppose a pay offer of seven percent.

Unite officials at Felixstowe indicated their support for a below-inflation 10 percent pay demand, while acknowledging the company could afford 50 percent more and still be in profit.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs at owner Hutchison Ports, claimed the strike at Felixstowe did not have “any real significant impact” on supply chains, and that customers diverted ships elsewhere. Unite refuses to mobilise all UK dockers in effective strike action against the cost-of-living crisis.

UK wildcat pay strike at oil refinery near Liverpool wins concessions

Around 1,500 UK construction workers at the Essar Stanlow oil refinery site at Ellesmere Port near Liverpool walked out on wildcat strike last week and won a £1,500 payment.

The workers struck for four days from October 21 against a pay offer of 2.5 percent imposed in January and the same for next January. Bilfinger wrote a letter demanding the unions repudiate the strike and threatened to forfeit pay for strike days.

Strikers ignored the threats and protested at the site and other oil refineries. They are also receiving pay for the strike days. They put the company’s losses at £8 million a day.

Workers at biscuit manufacturer in Liverpool, England to step up stoppages over pay

Around 700 UK workers at the Jacob’s biscuit and cracker factory in Aintree, Liverpool are to step up the number of walkouts.

From next week the GMB members will up strike days from four to five a week. They want an 8.5 percent rise, yet RPI inflation is currently 12.6 percent. The company offered just 4.25 percent plus a £500 one-off payment and 4.5 percent next year. Jacob’s has manufactured biscuits at the site for over 100 years.

Vinyl floor manufacturing workers in Greater Manchester, England set for further pay strike as company profits increase

Around 200 UK workers employed by vinyl flooring manufacturer Polyflor at their site in Whitefield, Greater Manchester, will begin a two-week strike from October 31.

The GMB members rejected a one-off £400 payment on top of an already rejected eight percent pay offer. This follows stoppages in October.

Polyflor’s parent company James Halstead PLC recently announced a near 10 percent rise in profits, and dividends paid out to shareholders will match last year’s record high.

The GMB union members were to begin a series of two-hour strikes against low pay on September 7. However, they were informed by email not to turn up for their shift and were locked out for a week. While unions cancelled strikes after the queen’s death, the lockout was not lifted.

GMB regional organiser Stephen Boden said, “Members are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, all they are looking for is a fair settlement of 10 percent, which is still below inflation. Meanwhile, the company dishes out £24m to shareholders.”

On September 20, the company ended the lockout and employees returned to work. They then held a two-hour strike on September 21 and protested outside the factory.

All-out pay stoppage of Stagecoach bus workers in Hull, UK continues

The all-out strike by UK bus workers employed by Stagecoach in Hull, England begun October 7 continues. It is due to last until December 29.

The 250 Unite union members, including drivers, cleaners, engineers and customer service assistants, voted by a 96 percent majority to walk out.

The drivers are paid £11.14 an hour. They want an increase to £13 with the same percentage passed on to all other bus workers involved in the dispute. The company offered 8.7 percent for this year, or just 14.8 percent over two years. 

Talks between Unite and Stagecoach brokered by government mediation service Acas broke down on October 17.

To undermine the strike, the company is contacting individual workers. A Unite press release Wednesday noted, “Stagecoach’s local manager Matt Cranwell is attempting to circumnavigate negotiations by pressuring individual members to accept a deal they have already rejected. It is time for Stagecoach’s more senior leadership to step in so talks can be entered into sensibly.”

Strike by engineering workers in Cardiff, Wales over pay offer

Workers at Renold Couplings in East Cardiff, Wales began four weeks of continuous strike on Tuesday. The Unite union members voted by 91 percent to walk out after rejecting a below-inflation offer.

The workers were subjected to a pay freeze during the pandemic. Renold Couplings makes high precision power transmission products used in a wide variety of settings, including cement manufacturing, subway trains, power stations and escalators.

Strike of workers at warship engine manufacturer Rugby, UK continues

Around 70 workers employed by GE Steam Power in Rugby, England are continuing their strike begun August 8. The workers will re-ballot for further action, as their current mandate is due to expire.

The Unite members rejected a 12.1 percent pay offer and £12,000 lump sum to buy out flexitime. They are employed to manufacture and repair engines for warships and submarines.

In August, GE Steam Power went to court for an injunction to stop the strike but was refused. Workers took action in May after the employer refused to negotiate increased pay rates for flexible working.

Housing repair workers at Barnet Council, north London on all-out strike

Housing repair staff employed by the Barnet Group in the UK capital have been on all-out strike since October 17, mounting picket lines each day.

The Unison union members are employed by the Barnet Group, wholly owned by Labour-controlled Barnet council. They are striking in support of a colleague refused sick pay, despite having been injured at work. According to a Unison press release, the worker was only three weeks away from a new contract being signed, entitling the workforce to sick pay.

UK union issues “fire and hire” threat to its staff

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists, which is registered as a trade union, has given its staff a “fire and rehire” ultimatum.

On October 17, staff were told the College intended to make around 10 percent of them redundant. They were given three days’ notice to accept a poor redundancy package or apply for jobs on inferior terms and conditions. Those failing to be given alternative posts would have to take statutory redundancy.

The Unite union, which represents some of the staff and was on the brink of signing a formal recognition deal with the College, said the staff may take industrial action to oppose the move.

Further strikes by UK rail workers announced over pay and conditions

UK rail workers fighting for improved pay and against the attack on jobs, conditions and pensions are to hold further strikes.

The 40,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members employed by the major train operating companies (TOCs) and Network Rail have already taken part in nationwide stoppages against massive restructuring.

The RMT announced strikes at Network Rail on November 5, 7 and 9. The union rescheduled a planned strike from November 3 to November 9 so as not to clash with the jingoistic Poppy Day (Remembrance Day). RMT members at the TOCs will walk out only on November 5.

In separate disputes, RMT members at London Overground and London Underground will walk out on November 10 over pay and attacks on jobs and conditions.

Strike notice by Southampton airport, UK staff over pay

UK airport staff in Southampton, comprising airside operations controllers, firefighters, engineers and technicians are to hold one-day strikes November 5, 12 and 19.

The Unite union members, who had no pay increase since 2019, rejected pay offers from the employer ACS. ACS airports, which also runs Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, put forward pay offers of between four and six percent. Work stoppages by these sections of workers would shut down the airport.

Biscuit manufacturing workers in Batley, UK to strike over pay

Thirty-six engineers employed by biscuit manufacturer Fox’s at Batley, England are to strike over pay.

The Unite union members rejected a five percent pay offer. The offer is also dependent on the workers agreeing to move from weekly to monthly pay and giving three months’ notice rather than the current one week. They will begin a four-day strike on November 6, followed by a further four-day strike from November 14.

The engineers are responsible for maintaining the machinery used in biscuit production. Delays caused by machinery failure could impact heavily on production. Fox’s supplies biscuits to big retail chains including Aldi, Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Sales of biscuits normally increase in the run-up to Christmas.

Fox’s is part of the multinational Italian-based Ferrero group. According to the latest figures, its revenues from its UK and Ireland operations increased by 10 percent to £450 million. A Unite press release says it has costed the engineers’ claim at just £140,000.

Further strikes announced by pickled food workers in Rochdale, UK over pay offer

Around 50 workers at Mizkan Euro’s food production plant in Rochdale are to walk out November 3-5. The Unite union members held a previous three-day strike beginning October 18. They rejected a five percent pay offer. They are paid as little as £11.50 an hour.

Mizkan makes well-known brands such as Branston Pickle and Haywards Pickled Vegetables.

Big vote by UK university staff to strike over pay and pensions

Majorities for strike action by UK university academic staff were recorded in ballots on pay and conditions and pensions.

Around 70,000 University and College Union (UCU) members across 150 institutions took part. In the ballot on pay and working conditions, over 81 percent voted to strike on a turnout of 57.8 percent. In the ballot on pensions, the majority in favour of walkouts was just short of 85 percent on a turnout of 60.2 percent.

The response of the UCU to the result was to call on the employers’ body to enter immediate negotiations to “avoid disruptions.” The UCU higher education committee is due to meet November 3 to decide how to act on the ballot result.

Other education workers could be joining the university staff’s industrial action in the autumn, given that the National Education Union, as well as NASUWT and the National Association of Head Teachers are to begin ballots for strike action over pay. For head teachers it will mark an historic first if they vote for stoppages.

UK ambulance staff ballot for strike over pay offer

Around 15,000 ambulance staff at 11 trusts across England and Wales are balloting for strike action after rejecting a four percent pay rise.

The GMB union members began balloting on Monday until November 29. The ambulance trusts to be balloted are: East of England, East Midlands, London, North East, North West, South Central, East Coast, South West, Welsh, West Midlands, and Yorkshire.

According to the GMB, any industrial action will take place before Christmas.

Strike of Arriva bus drivers in Kent, England ends as they accept new pay offer

A scheduled five-day strike due to begin on Monday by around 500 UK bus drivers at Arriva Kent was suspended so Unite could ballot its members on a new company offer.

A Unite press release on Wednesday said 59 percent of the workers voted to accept a 13.92 percent pay offer backdated to April 23.

Unite previously suspended a planned strike three-day strike October 19-21 to ballot the bus workers on a previous offer.

The drivers, based in depots in Gillingham, Gravesend, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells walked out in September, after rejecting a 10 percent offer. Pay is as low as £12.12 an hour.

Planned protest by Scottish firefighters over pay

Scottish firefighters are planning to protest outside the Scottish parliament building on Thursday. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) union called the protest in response to a five percent pay offer from the Scottish National Party government.

The FBU is to run a consultative ballot from October 31 until November 14 on whether to accept the offer. This will be followed by a ballot on strike action should the pay offer be rejected.

Middle East

Protests and strikes over death of Iranian Mahsa Amini enter sixth week

The sixth week of protests across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini began with shopkeepers and factory workers striking on Saturday.

Sunday saw protests by university students in Tehran as well as other Iranian cities. The same day, teachers in several cities including Kermanshah, Marivan and Saqqez went on strike protesting her death.

The 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested by the notorious morality police for wearing the hijab “improperly.” The police are accused of attacking her, resulting in her admission to hospital where she fell into a coma and died three days later.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced support for the security forces cracking down on the protests. According to Iranian rights groups, over 200 deaths resulted from security forces’ interventions, with thousands arrested and hundreds injured. The Iranian authorities said some security force personnel were killed as protesters resisted their attacks.

Strikes and protests also involved workers in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries in the Khuzestan region, leading to the arrest of over 500 workers and 100 being sacked. Workers at Ney Steel, Shadgan Steel, Mahshahr pipe manufacturing and Lamerd Aluminium works as well as the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane factory in Shush are among sections of workers coming forward against the Iranian regime.

General strike by Palestinians in West Bank over shooting of 22-year-old

Palestinians in the West Bank held a general strike on October 20, protesting the shooting of 22-year-old Udai Tamini by Israeli defence forces.

Tamini, from the Jerusalem Shuafat refugee camp, was accused of killing one Israeli soldier and injuring another at the Shuafat checkpoint earlier in the month.

The strike hit businesses, schools, universities and transport facilities in Jerusalem and across the West Bank

On October 21, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) issued a statement condemning the attack on two journalists from Palestinian TV the previous day. The two were carrying out a live broadcast on the streets of the West Bank town of Azzun when they were beaten and had weapons pointed at them by Israeli soldiers.

The previous week, photojournalists were attacked by Israeli forces.

In May, respected Al Jazeera Arabic reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, a US-Palestinian citizen, was shot dead by Israeli forces while reporting on an Israeli army raid on the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.


Public sector workers in South Africa serve strike notice over pay

The intended strike action of thousands of public sector workers in South Africa took a step closer this week, when acting Minister of Public Service and Administration Thulas Nxesi indicated he would invoke section 5 (5) of the Public Service Act, threatening to impose a three percent increase across the board.

The workers rejected this and increased their pay demand from 6.5 to 10 percent.

The Public Services Association filed a seven-day strike notice last Monday. If this goes ahead, it will be the first public sector strike in over twelve years.

Thermal Solar Plant workers in Northern Cape, South Africa strike over pay

Over 200 South African workers at the Redstone Thermal Solar Plant in the Northern Cape, downed tools ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the site, according to @SABCNews. The workers demand R50 an hour, as opposed to the R30 an hour rate paid by the contractor.

According to the presidency, the Redstone Thermal Solar Plant project forms part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme.

Makro workers picket over wages dispute

Around five thousand Makro workers in South Africa began a countrywide strike on Wednesday over pay. The South African Commercial, Catering, and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) members are demanding a 12 percent wage increase or R900, whichever is the greater.

They want a minimum wage of R8,000; an improvement of commission for salespersons from 10 to 20 percent; an increase in category 3 working hours from R160 to R195 per month; and a uniform allowance of R100.

On Friday, workers are holding a national march in Johannesburg.

Local government workers protest over unpaid salaries in Plateau State, Nigeria

Angry local government workers in Langtang, Plateau State, Nigeria held a protest on October 20, shutting down council offices to demand payment of their salaries, unpaid for six months.

One protester told the media that in the early morning of October 20, “Local Government staff of Langtang North LGA in large numbers embarked on a peaceful demonstration to register their grievances...”

She added, “Roads leading in and out of Langtang North were also closed for several hours and we are not ready to stop the protest unless the government acts on our demands.”

President of the National Union of Local Government Employees in the state, Makwi Yohanna, commented, “I don’t blame the workers because a hungry man is an angry man. How do you expect them to be happy when the workers have not been paid for more than four months?” He then claimed that, after intervention by the union, “the situation is calm now.”

Ghanaian state moves against striking university teachers

The university teachers’ strike in Ghana is under threat, after the National Labour Commission ordered the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to call an end to the stoppage.

The strike started over a cut to the amount paid to reimburse travel costs and vehicle maintenance. UTAG members demand the reversal of the administration’s decision to pay the 2022 fuel prices, instead of the 2021 price.

UTAG members at universities walked out alongside the Teachers and Educational Workers Union, Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) on October 17. Both teaching and administration were brought to a halt.

Following a previous meeting of the unions with the National Labour Commission, the unions complained the government had not kept its promises.