TASCE CRISIS: Recall all Politically Victimised Workers and Stop all Forms of Vindictive Action
Accede to Their Legitimate Demands Now!
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns the highhandedness and vindictiveness of the Dr Kiadese Lukman-led management, and the Prince Adeyemi Adefulu- led governing council of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu Ogun State towards the plights of the workers of the college especially since the assumption of office by Goveernor Dapo Abiodun.
By Eko John Nicholas Coordinator, CDWR, Ogun Stat)
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 over 12 months of unpaid salary arrears.
It would interest the public to know that, contrary to the radiant picture being painted on the canvas by the chairman governing council, the Dipo Abiodun-led administration, has at no time paid TASCE workers 100% full month salaries since his inauguration in May, 2019. It’s either 50% (June, July, August September, October and December) or 70% (November, January, February and March) half salaries, while April, May and June, 2019 salaries remained unpaid till date!
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 on the recommendations of the Prince Adeyemi Adefulu- led governing council 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. In fact, as at the last count, over 20 workers have been dismissed, without any form of payment of gratuities on flimsy or no reason at all, after years of meritorious services, out of the 130 workers penciled down for sack! Some workers are currently on suspension including Com. Daniel Aborisade (chairman COTASS) Mrs Tobi Hembah (chair NASU TASCE chapter ), Mr Seyi Akiola ( Secretary NASU), Miss Temitope Ogunfeibo among others.
The CDWR condemns these attacks on workers’ democratic 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; the reversal of all arbitrary termination of employments and suspension of workers; and other forms of victimization geared towards striking fear in the minds of the staff in order not to resist the corrupt, tyrannical reign of the Dr Kiadese-led management, ably reinforced by the governing council.
We also call on the Dapo Abiodun-led Ogun government to immediately accede to the workers’ legitimate demands; drop all trumped up charges against affected workers; relieve the current Provost of his appointment and dissolve the Prince Adeyemi Adefulu-led anti-workers governing council for public interests sake.
All these assaults on worker’s democratic rights are in line with the vision of the Prince Adeyemi Adefulu-led governing council’s taunted needs for staff rationalizations at the college, as a result of a supposedly dwindling financial fortunes of the college, as the only viable means of repositioning same for optimal productivity. Meanwhile, the same Prince Adeyemi Adefulu and his team, have been alleged of surreptitiously recruiting their cronies as staffs in the college, and also frittering away millions of naira in hotel bills and self-emoluments.
Interestingly, we recall that the constitution of the Prince Adeyemi Adefulu-led governing council by the state government, as recommended by Prof. Kamal Balogun’s panel was celebrated to high heavens by the Dapi Abiodun-led government as one of his achievements in his 100 days in office! More so, the non-implementation of, or half-hearted response to, the other recommendations of the panel reports, has led to the continued agitations by workers leading to the arrest of the leaders of the protests and their subsequent arraignment in court on the order of the state governor. The case against the workers is still in court. In addition to this, the College management has also 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), and himself and others as stated above are now placed under suspensions for the most ridiculous and unjustifiable reasons.
CDWR therefore calls on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), United Labour Congress (ULC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to break the silence by declaring solidarity for TASCE workers. This can start by giving a notice of 24-hour warning strike to the state government in support of TASCE workers’ demands including the recall of all sacked and suspended workers, and also to press home their demand for the payments of the newly approved minimum wage to the state workers without further ado. Therefore, we urge 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 public support for both TASCE workers’ demands in particular and the minimum wage as part of a struggle towards improving the working and living conditions of the workers in Ogun state.