Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



We call on Labour Unions to immediately call Workers’ Congresses as part of mobilization of workers for mass actions like rallies, protest marches, pickets, mass sensitization, etc.

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), Osun State Chapter, hereby expresses its support for the ongoing strike of public sector workers in Osun State as declared by the labour movement’s state leadership, to press home the demand for immediate payment of outstanding and current salaries and allowances of workers, and pensions and gratuities of retirees in the public service. This strike is important as the Rauf Aregbesola-led Osun State government has remained unyielding in its attitude towards the horrible plight of workers in the state.

The various news coming out of Osun State since the cruel denial of workers’ right to prompt and regular remuneration (such as reported deaths of workers and retirees over unpaid salaries and pensions; workers turning to beggars; withdrawal of children and wards from school over non-payment of fees; etc.) have shown that workers need to take their destinies into their own hands, otherwise they will be condemned into privation. Strike is one of the few instruments workers have to protest degeneration in their conditions. It is for this reason that we in the CDWR have always canvassed workers to make adequate use of this instrument as the government, especially the Aregbeola-led government, is hell bent at worsening their living conditions.

Workers’ Congress and Mass Actions Are Needed

However, we in the CDWR enjoin the labour leaders in the state not to limit the strike to a sit-at-home exorcise, which may turn the strike into mere holiday for workers. We call on labour union leaders to immediately start mobilizing their members for serious struggle with mass actions like protests, rallies, pickets, etc., along with the strike, as a way of building mass pressure on the government. We advocate that the labour movement should call immediate congress of workers across the state as a way of feeling the pulse of workers, building democratic consensus and mobilizing the public for the cause of workers. Also, the period should be used to organize activities like protest marches, rallies, symposia, press campaign, and mass sensitization through leaflets and other educative materials, as a way of educating the public on the plight of workers and retirees.

It is activities like these that will raise the tempo of the struggle and compel the government to take immediate actions on the plight of workers. The main reason the Aregbesola government has been recalcitrant and refused to pay salaries and pensions is basically because of the failure of the labour movement and its leadership to put social pressure on the government, thus allowing workers to suffer silently. The latest strike should not be made to be another half-hearted action by the labour leaders. Labour leaders in Osun State should avoid the mistake of labour leaders in Oyo State, who called off the workers’ strike there on nebulous promises by the Ajimobi-led Oyo State government. We decry a situation whereby labour leaders under NLC and JUSUN directed judicial workers to resume work while other workers are on general strike. This has the capacity to break and weaken the strength of the strike. We commend the judicial workers for rejecting this directive and joining other workers in the state strike at their congress held on Monday 8th June, 2015.

Workers united cannot be defeated.

Kola Ibrahim
Osun State Coordinator, CDWR