Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

Committee for a Workers' International logo

Committee for a Workers' International


Join DSM
Contact DSM
About us
Our Manifesto

Socialist Democracy

Newspaper of the DSM

Trade Unions



Socialist Democracy July 2004



By Tony Adewumi, UNAD DSM branch


On 9th June, 2004, the Ekiti State chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, with 20 affiliated unions, joined the strike called by the Adams Oshiomhole led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to resist the 10% increment in fuel prices.

Despite the fact that lecturers and workers of tertiary institutions like UNAD, College of Education, Ikere, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Radio corporations, civil service commissions, secondary schools, Agricultural institute, etc, joined the strike, the Ado-Ekiti metropolis was bustling and hustling with market women, public drivers, okada riders and the town inhabitants.

The main reason was because the Philip Omolafe Aderiye led NURTW, which is an affiliated union of the Nigeria Labour Congress, disobeyed the strike order. The NURTW union leaders complained that NLC bus or affiliated union vehicle should be placed under the NURTW instead of the Road Transport Employees which is not an affiliate un

ion. During the strike, the NURTW members like market women and okada riders suffered most because of the character of their source of income. The NURTW leadership also complained bitterly on how policemen shot indiscriminately at drivers especially along Akure and Ijero Road, while the Aribisala led NLC keeps its fingers crossed.

The Ekiti state NLC leadership has to seek a way out in fraternizing its affiliated unions, market women, youths, students, okada riders with its cause and struggles, through consistent solidarity actions, symposia, lectures and rallies. The Nigeria Labour Congress leaders both at national and state levels must realise that capitalism is a profit driven system by the ruling class at the expense of the poor working class. The interest of these two classes i.e the ruling and working class cannot be reconciled under this system. The labour leaders must break themselves away from the illusions that government wishes workers well.

The accord between the NLC, other unions and the Fayose led government should be thrown into the trash bin of history, if a fundamental way forward is to be taken. Before and during strikes, there is need for rallies, protest and leafleting. The NLC leadership must entrench traditions and democratic values in unions where they are absent, e.g. NURTW. This task cannot be accomplished by the state labour leaders alone but in collaboration with the national leaders.

The labour leadership and all pro-labour activists, including socialists must also strive to form the state chapter of Labour/Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), that will be part of planning and executing the struggle. During strikes, the labour leadership must mobilise at work places, schools, etc for protest because the masses must see themselves waging their struggles, which would inevitably strengthen the labour unions and threatening the foundation of the system liable for the woes of the working class.




Socialist Democracy July 2004