Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

OGUN Workers: CDWR Demands Immediate Payments of All Outstanding Salaries and Deductions to Workers and Reinstatement of all Victimized Workers

We Call on NLC and TUC to declare a 48-Hour Warning Strike in support of workers

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), Ogun state chapter, calls on the state leaderships of both the NLC and TUC to end their criminal silence in the face of increasing attacks on the democratic rights and living conditions of workers and the poor masses in the state by Dapo Abiodun-led APC government.

The CDWR condemns in all ramifications the unceasing attacks on workers’ democratic rights and demands the immediate payment of the 17 months unpaid cooperative deductions to the state workers; reinstatement of all victimized and unjustly sacked workers at TASCE and OOUTH; payment of the outstanding four(4) months salaries and allowances to the lecturers in Mapoly; acceding to demands of the judiciary workers currently on strike and honoring the agreement voluntarily signed with the union; and the conclusion of all pending promotion exercises; and meeting of all other legitimate demands of workers across the state by the government without delay.

The non-remittance of salary deductions to the workers’ cooperative union for 17 months is the latest in the series of unending attacks on democratic rights and working condition of workers by the Dapo Abioun government. Monthly, workers who are members of the Ogun State Salary Earners’ Co-operative Thrift and Credit Union Limited, save a percentage of their salaries with the union, which the state government is expected to remit to the Co-operative. But the Dapo Abioun government has refused to pay these monies running into billions of Naira since his assumption of office in 2019 till date!

According to newspaper reports, the cooperative union President, Bodude Tanimola, and the General Manager, Sunday Ajayi, said that the refusal of the Dapo Abioun government to pay the 17 months’ salary deductions to the workers, despite their numerous appeals through letters and emissaries, is now hindering them from meeting their responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to, their inability to pay children school fees, preventing them from accessing loans to augment the miserly monthly salaries by the government; and worst of all, the unwarranted/avoidable deaths of members from common and curable aliments, due to the non-payment of their entitlements. It is instructive to note that the Dapo Abioun government didn’t inherit any outstanding remittance to the workers cooperative on assumption of office!

On their part, the state judiciary workers under Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) are presently on strike over the non-payment of salaries and allowances to members and the reneging by the governor on agreements he voluntarily signed with the workers.

Education workers in schools like Mapoly and TASCE have not fared better. The Mapoly lecturers are owed four (4) unpaid salaries and allowances while the TASCE workers have NEVER received full salary payments since the inception of this administration. To make the matter worse, the workers are hunted down like games for daring to demand their legitimate rights! These orgies of agony of unpaid salaries and allowances, victimization and sacking of workers who dare to speak up including Aisha Ajibola of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) aren’t just a one off. Rather, they are the permanent features of the Dapo Abiodun’s government which is fast becoming notorious for attacking the living and working conditions of workers with flagrant disregard to their democratic rights.

Contrary to his flattering and flowery speech at this year’s May Day celebration, wherein he promised to pay all cooperative deductions and meet workers’ demands, it is clear that Governor Dapo Abiodun would not voluntarily pay nor meet workers legitimate demands, unless the workers are themselves prepared to wage determined struggles to force the government.

Therefore, the CDWR is proposing to the state leaderships of NLC and TUC to call a joint 48-hour warning strike and peaceful mass protest and begin immediate mass mobilization, as a first step, over the demands and plights of Ogun state workers. These include a halt to the increasing attacks on democratic rights of workers by the Dapo Abiodun-led, the immediate payment of all outstanding salaries and allowances, including cooperative deductions, and the reinstatement of the unjustly sacked workers across the state including TASCE and OOUTH, and other legitimate demands of workers.

We call on pro-labour civil society organisations, trade union activists and socialists to solidarise with Ogun state workers and also support our call on the NLC and TUC to call a warning strike to press home the demands of workers.

The nonchalant attitude of Ogun state government towards the condition, welfare and rights of workers further underscores why trade union leaders organized under NLC and TUC have to reverse their misplaced policy of collaborationism/compromise under the guise of industrial harmony. Rather they should begin to consistently fight for better conditions and improved welfare of workers and also uncompromisingly defend their interests and rights.

Eko John Nicholas

Chairman, CDWR Ogun state chapter

CDWR email: [email protected]