Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Government Must Meet Workers’ Demands For Students To Resume

For over 3 months now, workers in all four Osun State-owned Tertiary Institutions, including the Osun State Polytechnic Iree, Osun State College of Technology Esa-Oke and the two Osun State Colleges of Education at Ilesa and Ila have been on strike demanding salary increase and improved welfare packages. Despite the genuineness of the workers’ demands, the Osun State government has remained intransigent thus allowing students to waste away at home.

Education workers have a right to demand improved pay and better working conditions. Going by the conditions in the education sector today, only improved pay and working conditions for academic and non-academic staff in the education sector as part and parcel of a serious government plan to provide resources to fund education adequately can ensure a turnaround in the fortunes of public education in general. Unfortunately, the neo-liberal capitalist orientation of the government at federal and state levels is what has prevented them from funding education adequately and taking care of the working conditions of staff.

If the Osun State government could have money to fund the profligacy of its political office holders, retinue of special assistants and political godfathers, why does it not have enough resources now when it is the welfare of education workers that are concerned? All this point to the anti-poor character of the Osun State government and the imperative of the working masses of Osun State to chase out of office such anti-people government.

The DSM condemns the Osun State government for failing to meet the demands of the workers and call on the workers to be steadfast until the demands are won.

We call on the NLC and TUC in the state to organize one-day solidarity strike to include protest march in support of the striking workers. The striking workers themselves must also organize peaceful protest marches with mass circulations of leaflets to mobilize support of parents, students and the public. Already, some students have staged a peaceful protest in Osogbo on August 16, 2010. There should be more of such mass actions until Oyinlola government is compelled to meet the demands of the workers.

The refusal of Oyinlola government to meet the workers’ demands in addition to lack of provision of adequate social infrastructure has shown the need for a working people’s political alternative to be formed by Labour not only Osun State but nationally to win political power and form a government which is prepared to use the resources of the society for the benefit of all.

However, the struggle for better pay and adequate funding of education can only be victorious on a lasting basis if linked with the struggle to end the exploitative system of capitalism and establish in its place a socialist society.