The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has announced its backing for the Nigeria Labour Congress’s (NLC) two-day warning strike. The strike is a protest against the government’s meddling in union activities, notably the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and in the states of Imo and Abia. The SPN is also critical of the government’s inadequate measures, often referred to as “Tinubu’s palliatives,” which they argue are insufficient to address the hardships caused by the removal of the petrol subsidy and other anti-poor policies.
Criticism of anti-poor policies
The SPN, led by its Acting National Chairperson, Abiodun Bamigboye, and National Secretary, Bosah Chinedu, issued a statement condemning the government for its anti-poor policies. These include the removal of fuel subsidies, rising fuel prices, deregulation of the Naira, and increased cost of living. The party also criticized the government for denying workers the right to join a trade union of their choice and for hiking school fees.
Urging the public to actively participate in the strike, the SPN emphasized that the issues at hand are crucial for the socio-economic well-being of the working class. The party called on the NLC to organize public activities like protests and rallies and to broaden the scope of their demands to include other pressing issues like education commercialization and planned electricity tariff hikes.
The SPN expressed concern over the NLC’s previous hesitancy to act decisively, stating that such hesitancy undermines the labor movement’s credibility. They emphasized that the NLC should conduct the upcoming strike with utmost seriousness and follow it up with escalated actions.
Inadequacy of “Tinubu’s Palliatives”
The SPN noted that the government’s offer of “Tinubu’s palliatives” is not only insufficient but also insulting. They argued that if the NLC is serious about opposing anti-poor policies, it should demand a reversal of these policies and call for significant investment in critical sectors of the economy to create jobs and implement a living wage for workers.
While supporting the NLC’s decision to use the strike to resist government interference in the NURTW, the SPN also expressed its opposition to the extortionist activities of the NURTW leaders. The party urged the NLC to reform the NURTW so that it can operate as a genuine union that defends its members and road users, rather than exploiting them.
The Need for Mass Mobilization
In conclusion, the SPN called for mass mobilization to ensure widespread participation in the strike, emphasizing that a general strike is a significant class struggle requiring mass involvement. The party urged the NLC to use its structures across the country to mobilize against privatization, deregulation, and other anti-poor policies. They also called for the nationalization of key sectors of the economy under democratic working-class control.
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