TASCE PROTEST: STOP ALL FORMS OF VINDICTIVE ACTION AGAINST WORKERS AND ACCEDE TO THEIR LEGITIMATE DEMANDS
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the ignominy that the Dr Kiadese Lukman-led management of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu has now descended into, and the lacklustre and callous attitude bordering on vindictiveness of the Dapo Abiodun APC-led government of Ogun state towards the plights of the workers since his assumption of office.
The workers were owed over 60 months of unpaid salary arrears by the immediate past government of Ibikunle Amosun, while the present government owes the workers 7 months unpaid salary arrears till date: unpaid half salaries for the months of April, May, June and July; non-payments of August, September and October. But rather than pay the workers their legitimate earnings and meeting their other demands, the Dapo Abiodun government, like an ostrich, has chosen to bury to its head in the sand while the school management has embarked on all forms of vengeful attacks directed mostly at staff members seen to have played determined and principled roles in the last strike and protests.
The CDWR condemns these attacks on workers’ democratic and inalienable rights, and demands an immediate halt to all forms of vindictive acts and highhandedness by the college management, including the harassment and assaults of workers by the policemen currently placed on the campus by the Provost; arbitrary suspension of workers; and other forms of victimization geared towards striking fear in the minds and hearts of the staff and whipping them to meekness and blind submissions, as against resisting the corrupt, tyrannical reigns of the Dr Kiadese-led management, who has made himself the lord of the manor in the college! We also call on the Dapo Abiodun-led Ogun government to stop all pretences and grandstanding, and immediately accede to the workers’ legitimate demands without much ado; drop all trumped up charges against the workers; relieve the current Provost of his appointment for public interests sake; and end the perceived tacit support his government is giving to the Provost’s misdeeds and stop edging him on, so as to guarantee lasting peace in the College.
As we write, over 10 (ten) workers are currently pencilled down for dismissal and some of them are now on suspension for the most frivolous and ridiculous misdemeanours` imaginable, including Miss Temipote Oluwatosin Ogunfeibo, of the Information Technology Department, who was suspended for ‘assaults to the provost’ on Thursday 21st November, 2018, and due to appear before the College ethics and investigations panel. Some other staff now termed as opposition are either being assailed with query letters via phones and hard copies, or transferred from their present posts to other departments that have no correlations with their callings, for instance a teaching staff was redeployed to workshop (physical planning). Also, some teaching staff are subtly ‘demoted’ by being redeployed from degree course lecturer to NCE part-time program, and few who are the in management positions like Deans or sub Deans have been removed.
These are the levels of pettiness, rot and mess that TASCE has descended into under Dr Lukman Kiadese’s management and the state government seems to be at peace with itself and the Governor hypocritically flaunts his constitution of a visitation panel of and the newly constituted Council for the college as parts of his great achievements in the celebrated 100 day in office even while violating the recommendations of the visitation panel. Paradoxically to wit, the Dapo Abiodun government only paid two months half salaries against three (3) months full salaries as recommended by the Prof. Kamal Balogun’s visitation panel. Till date, no other recommendation has been implemented save for the constitution of the College council as has been mentioned over the head of the college workers, whose inputs were never taking into consideration.
Also recall that the non/half-hearted implementation of panel reports, had led to the continued agitations by workers leading to the arrest of the leaders of the protests and their subsequent arraignment on the order of the state governor. The case against the workers is still in court, and the College management has now dragged some of the workers including Comrade Daniel Aborisade: the leader of the struggle under the now banned and rested Coalition of Tai Solarin College Staff, to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)!
All these repressive acts and attacks are directed towards beating the workers in line and to silence voices of dissents against the veiled but now clearly unfolding face of anti-people and anti-workers policies of the APC-led government of Dapo Abiodun, and to forestall any resistance. While the workers of TASCE are continually owed their unpaid salaries, and the management is doing its best to curtail workers anger, the state civil servants are also burdened by unpaid salaries, while the state debts continue to rise. Till now, nothing concrete, except vague promises, has been done by the government about the new minimum wage recently ratified by the federal government.
CDWR therefore calls on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), United Labour Congress (ULC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to break the silence by declaring and giving notice for 24hrs warning to the state government in support of TASCE workers’ demands and also to press home the demand for the payments of the newly approved minimum wage to the state workers without further ado. We encourage the NLC, ULC and TUC to commence mobilization of the workers through mass campaign: press conferences, mass meeting of workers and civil societies, symposia, leafleting and rallies to gain mass support and public sympathy for both TASCE workers’ demands in particular and the minimum wage in general geared towards improving the working and living conditions of the workers’ in Ogun state.
(1) Drop all trump up charges against Comrade Daniel Aborishade and the TASCE five, and stop all forms of vindictive acts: witch hunting, arrest, intimidations, harassment, assaults, victimizations of workers and labour activists.
(2) Reverse the suspension of Miss Temipote Oluwatosin Ogunfeibo and others. Reverse all politically motivated dismissal, removal, demotion, redeployment and transfers.
(3) Reinstate Coalition of Tai Solarin College Staff. For the right to independent and mass-based unionism
(4) Payment of over sixty (60) months of salary arrears, remittance of pension fund deductions and cooperatives, and setting modalities in place on how other burning issues can be resolved without further delay.
(5) Regular and constant payment of 100% salary to TASCE staff and the payment of August, September and October 2019 salaries owed by Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun administration, including the 50% of April, May, June and July without delay.
(6) Democratic control of the college administration by elected representatives of trade unions, students’ representatives and other interest groups within the college community to checkmate individuals within the management of the college from corruptly enriching themselves with the scarce resources of the institution.
(7) Removal of Dr. Kadiese Lukman as Provost of the Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE) for his anti-worker policies and despotic approach to administration which has thrown the College into needless crisis
(8) The police and other security operatives must steer clear and vacate the college, and stop the harassment of workers, labour activists, and students opposed to the deleterious state of the college.
(9) No to retrenchment and victimization of workers for their determined and principle roles in the struggles.
(10) Government prioritizes education as a social service to the society and fund it adequately, not resorting to internally generated revenues to run the college as if it is a profit oriented establishment.
(11) We call on NLC, ULC, TUC and other labour and civil society groups to organize series of mass actions including a-24hrs warning strike in support of TASCE workers and to compel the government to begin the implementation of the N30, 000 new minimum wage.
Eko John Nicholas
Coordinator, CDWR Ogun State