Organise mass protests in Abuja
Research and allied institutions workers have vowed not to call off the strike they commenced in November except all their demands are met. To further press home these demands, they have organised a series of demonstrations at the National Assembly in Abuja, under the aegis of the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Staff Union (JORAISU).
The joint-union’s demands include the payment of 12 months arrears of 53.7% salary increment, implementation of 65 years retirement age, payment of allowances, poor funding of research, establishment of National Research Institutes Commission, immediate release of Research Institutes’ Condition of Service and withdrawal of non-profit skipping circular.
Mr. Rasheed Akinade, the Acting Chair of JORAISU informed that “the battle started in 2011 when an agreement was signed and arising from the agreement, seven issues called for implementation. It is the implementation that we have been fighting for from 2011 till today.”
Bad faith in negotiations with unions is a trademark of the bosses’ class. The health sector witnessed series of strikes over the past six years for the same reason. Despite agreements reached with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), it took half a dozen years of struggle for implementation to commence.
An emerging development from the united struggles of unions in the same sector which should be encouraged is the utilisation of the “joint union” tactic. This is a further testament to the fact that in unity lies strength.
There is however the need to expand unity-in-action beyond sectoral borders. The victories of workers in battles for improved remuneration and working conditions we win are more often than not reversed by the bosses, either directly when they can or indirectly through inflation and increasing precarity of work.
The need for holistic working-class unity and struggle to win the war of system change cannot be overemphasized. SWL stands in solidarity with JORAISU and calls for broader working-class solidarity to defeat the bosses as a class.
by Nnamdi IKEAGU