Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL) stands with the Nigerian workers in this trying period, as they dare to struggle to improve their living conditions. We agree with the workers that they have exhausted their patience over government’s delay of an upward review of the minimum wage. We thus welcome the national warning strike.
The SWL calls on the trade unions not only to ask workers to sit at home. Mass demonstrations, including rallies and processions should be organised. Leaflets and posters stating the workers case should also be widely circulated.
These would express workers’ power and defiance to the bosses and their government on one hand and help make the workers case clearer to their allies – other poor working people in the urban and rural areas.
The struggle for a living wage as minimum wage, has to be seen as part of our broader struggle to change the world for better. There is more than enough for everybody to live fruitful and happy lives without hunger or want. The only reason why workers are paid starvation wages and Nigeria has almost 90 million extremely poor people (the largest in the world), is because a few rich people in and outside government take away the wealth that should be used for the benefit of us all.
Through struggle, we can win power from this elite class and establish a new social-economic system based on solidarity, mutual cooperation and sustainable development. We can do this only with worker’s power, just as we can win a new minimum wage with workers’ power. Building workers’ power for the establishment of a government of the working people that can start building a socialist society is imperative, if we are to always have living wages. Otherwise, we will have to still fight this kind of fight again.
Indeed, the trade unions must not stop at the fight for a new minimum wage, in all the states owing backlogs of salaries, the strike must continue until they are paid. This is the only way to ensure that the governors will respect the envisaged upward review of the minimum wage. We dare to win, if we dare to struggle.
The SWL calls for public support and solidarity for the striking workers.
SWL stands with the workers. We shall remain at the barricades with you until the struggle is won.
Comrade Andrew Emelieze
National Chairperson, SWL