· Labour Must Issue a Two-Week Ultimatum
· Labour leaders must commence immediate mass mobilization towards the immediate and unconditional implementation of N18000 minimum wage now!
The Oyo State chapters of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) jointly condemn the continued refusal of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Oyo state Governor, to comply with the resolution of the state House of Assembly that calls for the immediate re-absorption of 3000 workers sacked by the government. The Assembly has since the 10th of July 2012 passed the resolution asking the government to suspend the implementation of the state staff audit report by one Captain Consulting Firm.
We therefore call on the state leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to challenge the State Governor over the resolution and issue an ultimatum, for instance two weeks, for compliance failing which there should be a 48-hour warning strike.
This step we are proposing that the labour leadership should take has indeed become necessary given the fact that, apart from the resolution of the House, the review panel constituted by the governor himself after the mass sack has discovered some error in the audit report. Yet the governor has continued to refuse to effect necessary correction by recalling the workers. This shows that the mass sack was a deliberate action aimed at reducing the workforce in the state.
This is more so given the fact that the report of Captain Consulting Firm in issue was inherited from the inglorious past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of Adebayo Alao-Akala which also approved full implementation of national minimum wage to the workers. But while the Abiola Ajimobi government of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the second biggest capitalist party after the PDP, enthusiastically implemented the staff audit report it has barefacedly dumped the approval of minimum wage into waste basket. This underlines the insincerity of Ajimobi government. The labour must therefore include in their demands the full implementation of the national minimum wage and begin the mass mobilization workers as well as effective sensitization of the public towards the steps and demands we have proposed.
|Oyo workers in one of protests for the full implementation of national minimum wage|
The affected workers have been ostensibly sacked for using fake credentials (forged certificate or falsification of age) to secure appointment with the state. But given the revelation of government review panel, the veracity of the staff audit report has been called to question. We therefore call for the recall of the sacked workers and the set up of independent panel that includes the elected representatives of the workers as well as the representatives of the Nigeria Bar Association and genuine civil society organizations to scrutinize the staff audit.
We would like to stress that we do not support falsification of certificate or age to secure jobs either with government or the private employers. It is however the artificial barriers created by the government and private employers while recruiting for jobs owing to limited places available that force many applicants to especially falsify their age. Many people graduate for years without a gainful job as a result of the failure of government at all levels to create jobs or providing enabling atmosphere for job creation. Most students waited from many years after obtaining the senior school certificate before securing admission as a result of limited facilities in the higher institutions. Yet, they spend more years than necessary in the institutions as result of strike by education workers which is usually provoked by the failure of the government to implement the agreement with workers.
In other words, it is the anti-poor, neo-liberal policies of successive governments at all levels which create conditions that condemn many Nigerians into crimes or despicable acts like falsification of age, prostitution, robbery, internet fraud etc. This is one of the reasons we have called on workers and youths to join the DSM in building SPN which has a pro-masses program that will commit the resources of the society for provision of basic needs like decent jobs, education, health care, electricity, etc
We call on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to stop chasing shadow as the best way to substantially curb the act of age and certificate falsification is by creating gainful employment opportunities that will be decent and different from the slave-labour scheme of YES- O in which promising young people in the state are engaged on casual basis and denied right to national minimum wage and trade union.