ERC SUPPORTS ASUP INDEFINITE STRIKE
INCESSANT STRIKES BY DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF WORKERS ARE FURTHER SIGNS OF THE BUHARI CAPITALIST GOVT’S FAILURE
WE URGE ASUP NOT TO JUST SIT AT HOME BUT ORGANISE PEACEFUL MASS PROTESTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) supports the decision of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to embark on an indefinite strike action starting today Tuesday 6 April 2021 over failure of the government to fulfil past agreements. We recall that a similar failure of government to fulfil agreements it freely entered into was responsible for the recent shutdown of public Universities by ASUU for nearly a year.
The ERC fully supports the demands of the striking members of ASUP and call on the government to immediately and unconditional meet their demands. We call on Polytechnic students to support the strike and embark on peaceful mass protests and demonstrations to compel government to meet the demands. We also strongly advice ASUP not to make this strike a ‘sit at home’ action. Rather they should organise public activities like press campaign, leafletting, public symposia, peaceful protests etc. in order to build public support.
Aside Polytechnic lecturers, resident doctors have been on strike since last week, also Shoprite workers have organised two national shutdowns against an imminent threat to their job, pay and conditions as a result of sale of the company and this week, judicial workers have equally started a strike thereby shutting the courts. Many other categories of workers are likely to embark on strike in coming weeks and months.
We wish to affirm that incessant strikes by different categories of workers are signs that show the Buhari capitalist government has failed. What is urgently needed is to unite all these struggles into a powerful movement that can win demands while simultaneously building a mass workers’ political alternative to wrest power form the capitalist elite and bring into power a government composed by workers, youth and the poor masses and armed with socialist policies. Only such a government can utilize the resources of Nigeria to fund public education and healthcare adequately, guarantee living wage and decent work conditions, thereby putting an end to the legacy of incessant strikes and agitations.
We therefore urge the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), as a first step, to call a day of action involving protests and demonstrations to give solidarity to the struggles of striking doctors, polytechnic lecturers, Shoprite workers and judicial workers. Such a day of action can help to compel the government and employers to back down and quickly meet the demands of the striking workers. Such an action can also, especially in a period dominated by sectarian and secessionist agitations, open the way to a united struggle of the entirety of the Nigerian workers by showing an example of solidarity as the cornerstone of the labour movement.
Deputy National Coordinator
Acting National Mobilization Officer