SPN CALLS ON NLC AND TUC TO HARMONIZE THEIR MOBILIZATION AND STRIKES OVER THE STRUGGLE TO REVERSE PETROL PRICE AND ELECTRICITY TARIFF HIKE
SPN ADVOCATES SUSTAINED WARNING GENERAL STRIKES AND MASS PROTESTS
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) reiterates its condemnation of the recent hikes in petrol price and electricity tariff; the increase in petrol has seen the price move up from N148 per litre to N162 per litre while electricity tariff has been increased by over 100%.
The Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have issued two different ultimatums to the government that could lead to indefinite strike actions and mass protest. The TUC had earlier held their NEC meeting and resolved to issue the federal government a 7-day ultimatum to reverse the price of petrol and electricity tariff failing which indefinite industrial actions and national protest will begin on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. On its part, the NLC arising from its CWC meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, had issued the federal government 14 days to reverse the hikes in electricity tariff and petrol price without which an indefinite strike will commence on September 28, 2020.
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) welcomes these responses of the two trade union centres (NLC and TUC), but we call for harmonisation of both responses. We call on the Ayuba Wabba led NLC leadership and Quadri Olaleye led TUC leadership to meet to harmonise their positions. There is the need to bring the full weight of the trade union movement to bear in the struggle that lie ahead.
We urge the NLC to mobilise their affiliates to join the nationwide protest being planned by the TUC on September 23 and the TUC should also do same for the NLC action starting on September 28.
We call on NLC and TUC to be prepared for a protracted struggle, and not a quick dash. SPN is advocating, as a first step, a definite 48 hours general strike, with an active nationwide mass protest that will involve the trade unions, pro-labour organisations and community organisations in mobilizing and taking important decisions regarding the struggle. An indefinite general strike poses the question of power and the working class must be adequately mobilized around an alternative socialist programme to achieve the goal of attaining power and transforming society to meet the needs of all.
We have had at least 9 general strikes in the last 22 years over petrol price hikes and yet the price has moved from N20 per litre in 1999 to N162 per litre, a whopping 700% increment. Petrol and electricity price hikes should not be seen in isolation from the entire neo-liberal capitalist policies, it is part of a pro-rich economic agenda that undermines the interest of the vast majority working masses. If capitalism is not defeated in the long run, the working masses will constantly come under attacks of different magnitude and dimension. Hence, we advocate the forming and building of a pan Nigerian mass working class political party armed with a socialist program by workers, youth, trade unions, artisan groups and pro-masses organisations to challenge the bourgeois political parties (PDP, APC etc.). This is the only way the working class will sustainably fight and win political and economic freedom. SPN is prepared to be part of all initiatives aimed at emancipating the working masses from slavery and economic crises.
Acting National Chairperson