LASPOTECH WORKERS REMAIN STEADFAST DESPITE PERSECUTION BY GOVERNMENT AND RECTOR
By HT Soweto
Today, members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) joined workers of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) as their case came up at the Magistrate Court, Yaba Oyingbo, Lagos. The workers who cut across the three trade unions on the campus (ASUP, NASU, and SSANIP) have been agitating through strikes and demonstrations for better pay and working conditions for over two years now. Instead of meeting their demands, the Sogunro-led administration of the Polytechnic decided to carry out a series of attacks against the workers and their leaders in order to force them to abandon their struggle and demands. Several of them were demoted, illegally sacked and transferred. Subsequently, 38 of the Workers (11 of them women) were arrested and detained at Kirikiri and Ikoyi prisons. Yet their spirit remains unbroken.
This unbroken resolve was demonstrated today as the workers still turned out in good numbers to the court hearing. However, the State prosecutor did not show up in court so the Magistrate had to adjourn the case till 22nd January 2019. This again shows that the State has no genuine case against the workers and is only working hand in glove with the Sogunro management to harass and victimize them. After the court sitting, the workers gathered outside where the workers’ lawyer, leaders of the three unions, DSM/CDWR and JAF addressed them on the next steps. 10 copies of the Socialist Democracy (SD) – paper of the DSM – were sold. We all dispersed with a determination not to relent but to keep fighting until victory.