OGUN MINIMUM WAGE: GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT TO NEGOTIATE NOT SYNONYMOUS TO CONCESSIONS
LABOUR LEADERS AND WORKERS MUST PREPARE TO STRUGGLE TO WIN FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF MINIMUM WAGE WITHOUT RETRENCHMENT OR ILLEGAL DEDUCTIONS
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) Ogun State chapter, receives with a mixed filling the last-minute suspension of the planned 48 hour warning strike by the state chapters of NLC and TUC. The strike was meant to protest the continued reluctance of the state government to implement the newly approved minimum wage increments after numerous calls and letters failed to rouse the government to action. The warning strike was billed to hold on 19th and 20th December 2019.
The Labour leaders hinged the suspension on the pledge by the state government to constitute a negotiating committee to work out the differential adjustments with the organised labour. It is clear that Dipo Abiodun’s government wouldn’t have taken any step on the new minimum wage save for the threats of imminent strike actions.
Therefore, given the way they quickly called off the planned strike, it will be erroneous for trade union leaders to believe that the Dipo Abiodun-led administration would grant concessions without a struggle. CDWR seriously frown at the way the planned warning strike was suspended unilaterally by the Labour leadership, without first of all calling a congress of workers to democratically decide
Like all successive capitalist governments in the state committed to anti-workers’ capitalist policies, the Dipo Abiodun-led government would try to buy time with the proposed negotiating committee. We therefore call on the labour leaders to put forward a deadline for the conclusion of the negotiation. We also call on them to continuously prepare to mobilise workers for action against any attempt to water down the new minimum wage or retrench workers on the account of implementation of the new wage.
And in the events that the agreement on the new minimum wage is eventually reached, trade union leaders and workers should realise that it may require struggle to force the government to fully implement the new minimum wage. Trade union leaders and workers must also prepare to resist any attempt to take back the wage rise through cuts in social services, increased taxes, hike in tuition fees, and unremitted deductions of pensions, union dues, etc.
We call on the leaderships of the NLC and TUC in Ogun state to convene a meeting of trade unions, pro-labour civil society groups, activists and socialists as well as organise mass meetings at work places, congresses, symposia and other mass actions. All this is to be geared towards discussing the best approach that can win the struggle for full implementation of minimum wage without retrenchment. We must also include all outstanding issues like the demands for the payment of deductions, remittance of pension funds and cooperative, TASCE workers struggle, and the reinstatement of former NLC chairman, Akeem Ambali etc.
Comrade Eko John Nicholas
CDWR Ogun State Chapter