Tuesday, 30 April 2013

SPN Osun May Day 2013 Leaflet

Minimum Wage: Victory for Workers, But Not yet Uhuru!
·         For full implementation to meet rate of inflation
·         Aregbesola Govt. should pay pensions and gratuities of retirees now
·         SPN supports Demands of Osun Tertiary Institutions’ Lecturers

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Osun State Chapter heartily expresses its solidarity with workers, especially workers in Osun State as they celebrate this year Workers’ Day. We again reiterate our support for the collective struggles of workers for better living conditions and a better society that guarantees a secured future for working people all over the world.

Minimum Wage Increase: Product of Struggle
As workers in Osun State celebrate Workers’ Day, we also welcome their latest victory on minimum wage. This victory, which has seen minimal rise in salaries for workers, should be welcome as a product of the protracted struggle of workers since 2011. The minimum wage struggle has shown what can be achieved when workers are determined to defend collectively their right to better living. The strikes, congresses and open campaigns by activists including members of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) are what forced the Aregbesola/ACN government to concede to workers’ demands. This shows the power of collective struggle. We in the SPN enjoin workers to consolidate on the gains of the struggle by rebuilding their unions on a democratic, mass-based, participatory basis. Workers must purge their unions of pro-state, corrupt leaders, who are prepared to defend the government and sell workers out for crumbs. We call on workers to also insist that regular congresses be called on issues affecting them, and they must demand regular reports on how the unions are run in form of leaflets, bulletin, etc and local congresses and meetings.

Issues Still Remain
It is worth stating that the increment being introduced is still far from a living wage, and real implementation of the minimum wage. For instance, the salaries of Osun workers, despite the increment, is still about half of their colleagues in the federal civil service are paid, and below that of some other states.  Consequently, we enjoin workers and their unions to continue to demand for improvement based on the cost of living and inflation. Even as Aregbesola government is forced to concede rise in minimum wage, workers must demand that the implementation must not lead to retrenchment of workers, increase in tax (as workers are already overtaxed), or loss of other rights and welfare incentives. This is necessary as the government, when forced to pay the new wage will look for ample opportunities to attack workers and their living conditions. This is reflected in the fact that the government deliberately waited until this year to effect wage increment so as to exclude thousands of workers who retired as at December 2012.
Workers should also realize that their wage increment would lose value if education is further commercialized, and other social services privatized. On this basis, we enjoin workers to also join other oppressed people to demand free and quality education at all levels; free healthcare at the point of use; and expansion of social infrastructures that will ensure provision of decent and secured employment for tens of thousands of youths, as against the exploitative, slave labour of OYES.

Aregbesola Govt. Should Pay Pensioners
We in the SPN call on Aregbesola government to pay the pension areas and gratuity of retired workers in the state. The workers have dedicated their adult lives for the service of the society; they have an inalienable right to a living pension that is tied to rate of inflation and cost of living. It is rather unfortunate that the Aregbesola government has not paid retirees, especially those who retired in the later part of 2012. This is condemning them to poverty, which is inhuman.
We enjoin workers and the leadership of the trade unions to take the issue of the retirees up as part of labour’s demand. If government is allowed to do whatever it likes over pensioners’ pensions, it will set a bad precedent that will affect those in service now. Already, there are reports that government has not been paying its own counterpart fund of the contributory pension to the PFA, while workers’ 7.5% contributions are being deducted. This means that many workers will be left in the cold by the time they retire, as they will not get their entitlement as early as they expect. The contributory pension itself is exploitation as government is expected to ensure living pension for workers and not deduct from workers’ wages. Therefore, we call on workers to use this occasion to demand immediately payment of pensions and gratuities of retirees, without further delay. Failure of government to do this should lead to mass protests and rallies along with retirees, and forty-eight hour warning strike.

We Support the demands of Osun Tertiary Institutions’ Lecturers
We also use this occasion to reiterate our support for the lecturers in the four state-owned tertiary institutions who are demanding among other things: reversal of the exorbitant tax regime in the state, implementation of the sixty five year retirement age policy, improved staffing of the institutions (as most departments already lack teaching staff) and full implementation of the pending salary structures. Despite the fact that these are legitimate demands, which can easily be acceded to by the government, the Aregbesola government has refused to yield. This has led to continued closure of schools to the detriment of students and workers. This has again rubbished the much-touted education reform of the government, which in the real sense has been mere grandstanding.
The government has been using all strong-arm tactics to break the lecturers’ strike. If it is successful in doing this, it will embolden the government to further attack workers. Therefore, we call on workers in Osun State, through their various unions to give solidarity to the lecturers. We call on labour leaders to organize mass actions including solidarity strike, rallies, press statements, etc. in support of the lecturers. We also enjoin the lecturers and their unions to organize joint mass actions with other workers and students, as a way of building more public support, and thus prevent the government from using false propaganda and exploiting the likely frustration of parents and students to gain cheap public support. With the solidarity actions of other workers and public support, the striking lecturers can force this anti-worker government to meet their demands.

The Need for Working Class Government
The character of the Aregbesola/ACN government in Osun State during the minimum wage struggle again reflects the anti-poor, anti-worker character of this government despite its claim to progressivism. This is clearly reflected in the failed attempt of the government to use the National Industrial Court to stop workers from gaining a little improvement in their poor wages, and its divide-and-rule tactics. Just like the federal government, other state governments, and capitalist political parties, the Aregbesola/ACN government is committed to neo-liberal policies that ensure that more money go the coffer of the already rich few, while the majority of the working and poor people are made to live on the fringes of poverty and want. This is clearly reflected in the elitist projects undertaken by the government, albeit at exorbitant costs and borrowed funds, while the basic needs of the people: free and quality education and healthcare, good wages for workers, secure and decent employment for all able-bodied citizens, etc, are left unattended to.
This underscores the need for workers to build their own political platform to contend for power with the current set of anti-poor, pro-rich parties at all levels. Working and poor people need a party that will put public resources to public needs: free and quality education and healthcare, living wages for workers, massive development of social and public infrastructures (mass public housing scheme, potable water supply, transport development, etc), provision of secure and decent employment for all citizens, etc. These programmes can be easily implemented if society’s resources and wealth are put under democratic public ownership of working people. It will also require that politicians collect average wages of civil servants. With this, public resources going to the rich few and big businesses will be liberated for pro-poor, pro-workers’ programmes. This is what the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) stands for. Consequently, we call on workers and the poor people to join us in building a strong working class political alternative that can defeat parties of looters who are holding millions of Nigerians in poverty.
Once again, Happy Workers’ Day 2013

SPN Lagos May Day 2013 Leaflet


The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Lagos State Chapter, solidarises with workers as we celebrate this year workers Day. The SPN is a party of Workers, Youths and the Poor. For over 100 years, May 1st has been a day of working class solidarity and agitation for improvement in their conditions.

Perhaps, more than ever, it is the time to tenaciously work towards an alternative economic and political system to capitalist policies and programs. In 1886, American workers rallied together on May 1st to demand economic and political justice, and to create an 8hour workday. It laid the basis for workers winning more concessions through struggles at workplaces, factories and industry.

Today, workers and other sections of working people face brutal social and economic attacks from the governments at all levels. In Lagos, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the ruling party despite claiming to be progressive, the daily harrowing experience of the working people in the state has shown that the party is as anti-poor and anti-worker as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other anti-poor parties. 

Lagos state is one of the states in Nigeria where the national minimum wage has not been fully paid. In spite of the propaganda of the government, the workers know the truth, though unfortunately they lack a fighting leadership. The Teachers Salary Allowance (TSA) fought and won by teachers has been surreptitiously taken back from them by the state government. It has been removed from their pay slip under the guise of new minimum wage whose purported payment is classical “Eko for Show”, the more you look the less you see. We must resist this attack on pay and condition and look for political alternative.  This is what SPN has offered.

Besides, the government workers, some sections of ordinary people have had their means of livelihood severely attacked. Okada operation has been banned on many roads while the use of tokunbo cars for taxi operation has been proscribed. Ordinary traders have had shops demolished without alternative or adequate compensation.

But while workers are robbed of their legitimate pays and other sections of the working people made to lose their means of livelihood, they are expected to pay more to educate their children and to access health care facilities. This is in addition to the fact that every household is now a municipal government with its own power generation and water provision leading to skyrocketing cost of living.

Public primary and secondary schools are not only over-crowded in many of the schools, but also lack functional and adequate facilities for quality education like laboratories and libraries. A few standard private schools are unaffordable for most parents. University education in the state has been taken out of the reach of children of working class people. The fees in LASU was increased from N25,000 to between N193,750 and N348,750 by Fashola government. This is outrageously anti-poor and pro-rich. The party and government with this heinous policy does not deserve support of workers, it has to be ousted, but not to be replaced by its like and PDP or other anti-poor parties. This is why workers need a party like SPN. The party will massively invest in education at all levels with well-paid education workers exposed to regular training and re-training as well as adequate provision of facilities for quality education. The SPN will scrap these inhuman fees in LASU and in other tertiary institutions and we shall introduce free and qualitative education at all levels in Lagos.

In Lagos, the public hospitals are not enough, poorly staffed and scantily equipped. Even at that, they are not affordable for most Lagosians. It explains why many poor die from avoidable diseases/sickness. SPN will invest in public hospitals and build additional ones. We shall also invest in research work. The hospitals shall be run by committee made up of government appointed experts/workers, elected representative of workers and the communities.        

Lagos State Government has shown obvious lack of capacity to provide Lagosians with functional transportation system. Many roads are in such terrible shape such that they are impassable and inaccessible. This is one of the reasons Okada has become a major means of transportation. Fashola's response is to ban Okada in 475 roads. However, the same Fashola and ACN gave okada riders helmets and used them to campaign during the 2011 general election.  Fashola has only built very few roads while many of the community roads have been abandoned.
The state of the roads and drainage system are some the reasons there is flooding in many places whenever it rains. The SPN is opposed to the ban and attacks on Okada riders by the police and demand an end to these attacks. SPN is interested in phasing out Okada as a means of public transportation and that can be achieved by modernizing the means of transportation, which includes building all roads with good drainage, putting in place a metro-line that connects different parts of Lagos, investing in safe water transportation and putting in place a public mass transit. This is the only way a mega population of about 15 million can be successfully transported on a daily basis.

Social infrastructure and public corporations can only be sustained if they are democratically controlled by workers and communities to forestall mismanagement and embezzlement. For instance, Fashola and Tinubu's BRT bus scheme is fast collapsing and it explains why workers are regularly protesting and embarking on strikes. For instance, out of about 800 BRT buses, only 190 are in working condition while workers are paid poverty wages (Drivers earn about N30,000, bus sweepers and depot cleaners earn about N12,000 monthly).

Lagos ACN since 1999 has only built houses for the rich while the poor have been abandoned. Despite that, the Tinubu and Fashola-led governments have continued to demolish houses and markets without alternatives or adequate compensation. The most recent is the inhuman demolition of Makoko, Ijora Badia and some houses in Ikorodu, thereby rendering millions of Lagosians homeless. SPN is opposed to such senseless demolitions without building alternative houses or without paying adequate compensation to the victims. SPN in responding to the housing crisis, will build different categories of decent housing estates whose rent will be affordable to workers and the poor. Where it is desirable to rebuild an area because of its poor or dangerous habitation, SPN government will reach an agreement with the inhabitants on either to be paid adequate compensations or to be relocated to a place built already.

Lagosians are one of most taxed people in the world, particularly when you consider the multiple taxation by different agencies and government at various levels. SPN will introduce progressive taxation wherein the rich will pay more tax. SPN will exempt the extremely poor, particularly those with low earnings either as workers or as traders.
Lagos Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) is N23 billion monthly while about N15 billion is collected from federal allocation monthly, but there is very little to show for this. The SPN government will be run transparently, hence much more funds will be generated as all loopholes for stealing and looting would have been blocked. These resources can be used to pay a minimum wage of N50,000 for workers as well as open up the economy through massive investment in basic infrastructure that will not only create jobs but also modernize the economy..
The SPN is opposed to the lekki toll and other tolls planned by the Lagos State Government. SPN shall scrap all tolls because it amounts to multiple taxation. 

If elected, the SPN government shall ensure the payment of living wage, not less than national minimum wage; the provision of decent condition of service and working condition, and the implementation of all national agreements reached with all categories of workers. All this shall be without retrenchment of workers. We shall invoke all necessary powers to ensure that the private sector employers implement national minimum wage and obey labour laws including zero tolerance to casualisation of workers. We shall pay to retired workers decent pension.  All political office holders on the platform of the party in Lagos and elsewhere will receive the average salary of civil servants. 

Nigerians are not interested in replacing one behemoth with another leviathan or hydra headed monster.  The APC is an alliance of convenience by disgruntled politicians lacking any progressive ideology to save Nigerians, and whose main agenda is to preserve their inordinate ambition to grab power at the centre, the “soul of the party” is not really different from the much-derided PDP. For instance, APC claims that it will offer Nigerians free education while Tinubu's ACN in Lagos has commercialized education through outrageous fee hike like it was introduced in LASU.
  Ultimately, Nigerians need a credible alternative, not just to replace the PDP in power, but to replace other ruling parties like ACN in Lagos. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is the party Workers, Youths and the Poor should join and consciously build in order to save the working people from social and economic ruin. 

For full manifesto of the SPN, get a published copy or visit our blog, www.socialistpartyofnigeria.blogspot.com

SPN is inviting all those that are seeking change to a general meeting of the party. Date: Saturday May 18, 2013.
Time: 12 noon prompt. Address: 162, Ipaja Road, Agbotikuyo, bus stop, Agege.  Contact us on: 08098284000,
07033775517, 08121378435, 08098737370. Email us: socialistpartyofnigeria@yahoo.com

SPN Oyo May Day 2013 Leaflet

Greatest Oyo State working people! Since the regime of monumental waste and brazen looting of collective wealth of Christopher Alao Akala/PDP-led government in Oyo State was ousted, the expectation that the Abiola Ajimobi-led ACN government would bring an improvement to both the living and working condition of the entire working people in the state has been severally dashed.
Since the inauguration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration on the 29th of May, 2011, it conducts and attitude towards the working people have clearly shown that the regime is not fundamentally different from the past anti-poor governments. 
First among the anti-worker actions of the Ajimobi government was to obstinately refuse the implementation of 13th May consolidated salary agreement which his predecessor, Otunba Alao Akala approved for the Oyo State civil servants at twilight of his inglorious regime.
At different times, there were instances where workers, especially teachers and local government workers, were sacked based on allegations without an avenue for fair hearing to defend themselves. This is asides various query letters which were at different time issued to workers in order to intimidate them from demonstrating their democratic right of freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
While it wickedly retrenched thousands of workers in order not to pay minimum wage, Ajimobi government is celebrating the employment youths under a slave-driving YES-O scheme. The YES-O “volunteers” are paid poverty wage and not allowed to join trade union. They are paid a ridiculous amount of N10,000 out which N2,000 was allegedly deducted as tax.   
The height of the anti-worker disposition of Senator Ajimobi-led administration is the continued refusal to fully implement the paltry N18, 000 minimum wage which has been signed into law since March 25th, 2011. Ridiculously, various false arguments and propaganda were spread by the government to incite other sections of the oppressed people in the state: petty traders, Okada riders, artisans, etc, who are not salary earners, against the civil servants.  False impression was given that there would be little or no money to invest on provision of basic infrastructure like road, water if the N18, 000 minimum wage is fully implemented for workers.
Here we are, almost two years of this administration has started unleashing attacks on pay and conditions of workers, petty traders, road side mechanics, other artisans and unemployed youths are now groaning under brutal attack on their means of livelihood. In the name of beatification at strategic places while the interior and inner roads are deplorable, thousands of buildings mainly used for different purposes like churches, houses, mosques and shops in many parts of Ibadan and Ogbomosho were demolished without any provision of alternative.
 Reminiscent of the inglorious era of military absolutism where culture of fear and intimidation is often imposed on the people, Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration through the service of some gangs of uniformed thugs who masquerade as Government monitoring team has continued, under the guise of beautification and cleaning-up project, to use brute force to subject thousands of small traders and artisans at different areas of Ibadan to all forms of harassment and physical assault.
Given this background, the tokenism of the ongoing road construction at some part of Ibadan amplified by media town criers is yet to bring any fundamental benefit to mass of the working but suffering people of the state.
According to the Economic Confidential Magazine, a breakdown of the net allocation to states of the federation shows that Oyo State got over N183.291billion between 1999 and 2012, this excludes over N178, 098billion accrued by local governments within the same period. However, millions of Oyo State working people continue to live without access decent housing, good road, potable water, quality education and functional healthcare.
If the resources accrued to the state are well utilized and its potential in agriculture and mineral resources are developed, we of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) strongly hold that the state has more than enough to provide basic infrastructure like water, good road and rural electrification etc, fund social services like education, health etc and pay living wage to civil servants without retrenchment.

But as long as we continue to have anti-working people capitalist system, which made it possible for huge percentage of the collectively owned state revenue to be shared among political office holders, politicians, private contractors and royal fathers in term of salaries, allowance and other corrupt benefits like inflated contracts, the economic woe of the Civil Servants, artisans, Okada riders, danfo drivers, traders will always go from bad to worse.

It is on this basis, we of SPN invite government and private sector workers, traders, transport workers, unemployed youths and students etc to join us in the process of building the SPN as an independent political party for the workers, youths and the poor. The government formed by SPN in the state will use resources for the benefit of the society and the working people. It will put government agencies and projects under democratic control of elected representatives of workers, communities and relevant professionals. Members of the party elected or appointed into public offices will earn the average salary of civil servants in addition to verifiable incidental expenses while the remaining income will be donated publicly to support the struggle and organizations of the working people and youths.

Therefore, if you are dissatisfied with the various anti-poor capitalist policies of Abiola Ajimobi government as well as President Goodluck Jonathan at the federal level and you are interested in fight back against these policies and in working people political alternative, the party to join now is the SPN.

The Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) invites you to its official lunch in the state as a step towards building the party as a formidable alternative working peoples’ political party in the state.

Date: Wed, 29th May, 2013.
Time: 12noon
Venue: NUJ Secretariat, Iyaganku, Ibadan

For further enquiries contact the following phone numbers:
08033914091,07066249160, 08033655995, 07042405314, 08056807994,
Or 2 Gbadebo Street, Bisi B/stop, Behind Ojulowo, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State