“the working class and the quest for socio-economic revival”

MayDay.2016-from.ralph

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NLC President addressing workers at the 2016 May Day Parade

Workers all over Nigeria will troop out on Sunday May 1 as part of the international labour movement, to commemorate the 2016 May Day. The theme chosen by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress for this occasion is “the working class and the quest for socio-economic revival”.

This is an apt topic at this historical moment of a major systemic crisis of capitalism. The importance of this topic for the Nigerian trade unions can equally be seen when we recall that one of the major topics discussed at the NLC national leadership retreat last year was “the labour movement and socio-economic challenges in Nigeria”. Comrade Femi Aborisade of the SWL made the leadoff presentation.

Drawing from his presentation the seven major socio-economic issues could be considered to be: privatization of public enterprises; non-payment of salaries; the fight against corruption; health care; education; housing, and; water. In its quest for socio-economic revival, the working class must have policy positions to campaign around, on each of these issues.

In the course of its struggle to better the lot of the working class, organised labour should be able to win concessions, which would be reforms. But, the bosses would always do everything they can to reclaim any concession they can back. We cannot win our self-emancipation strictly speaking, through mere reforms.

We must build workers’ power for revolutionary struggle that will bring about system change and with which we will build a socialist society. That is the clear lesson that the working class has been made to face time and time again over the past two hundred years, including in the incidents of the Haymarket Square in 1886, which led to the birth of May Day as the International Day for Working Class Solidarity.

SWL activists will join the NLC/TUC at its pre-May Day symposium in Abuja on April 30 and we will march with the working class across different states in the country. We are part of the working class. We will always stand by the workers in struggle, learning from it and advancing perspectives on the way forward for it. For the workers united cannot be defeated.

by Segun Ogun