HIGH TIME NLC AND TUC MOBILISES FOR A 48-HOUR WARNING GENERAL STRIKE IN SUPPORT OF STRIKING UNIVERSITY WORKERS AND OVER COST OF LIVING CRISIS
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns the continued unserious response of the Buhari-led government towards the demands of the striking university workers and adequate funding of public education.
Public universities have been shut down since February 14, 2022, due to the strike action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and subsequently by the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Seniors Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU). The demands of the striking workers centre on welfare conditions and better funding for university education.
The Buhari-led government is not committed to better funding for education and is not interested in rescuing the appalling state of public education. However, a more determined and sustained struggle of the organised Labour and the working masses can force the government to meet the demands of the striking workers.
We commend the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for organising a nationwide mass protest on July 26 and 27, 2022, in solidarity with the striking workers. However, we recall that NLC President Ayuba Wabba in his address at the protest in Abuja stated clearly that the Congress would embark on a general strike should the government continue to treat workers’ demands with levity. Therefore, we call on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to declare and mobilise for a 48-hour warning general strike as the next stage in the mass actions to force the government to meet the demands of workers.
Besides, the strike should also be used to demand an end to the deepening cost of living crisis including calls for a new national minimum wage and the reversal of hikes in fuel and electricity prices.
More importantly, the CDWR strongly believes that only a working class-led government will take public education, public health, environment and the needs of all seriously and work towards achieving public and common goals, unlike the present government that defends the profit interest and privileges of a tiny few. Hence, there is a dire need for trade unions and pro-masses organisations to initiate the building of mass political party of workers and the poor masses on a socialist programme as a vehicle to defeat the self-serving capitalist elite.
Comrade Rufus Olusesan
Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Publicity Secretary