SWL Supports NLC/TUC General Strike for a Living Wage as Minimum Wage

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The Socialist Workers League (SWL) salutes the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for their courageous and principled decision to embark on a strike to protest the recent increase in electricity tariffs and to demand a livable wage for all Nigerian workers and reversal of the draconian hike in electricity tariffs, despite threats and blackmail by the government and its state apparatus. This strike is a powerful demonstration of the collective strength and determination of the working class to resist exploitative practices and fight for economic justice.

The NLC and TUC have thus shown exemplary leadership, in standing up against policies that further impoverish Nigerian workers and their families, this time. The increase in electricity tariffs comes at a time when many Nigerians are already struggling with the high cost of living, stagnant wages, and widespread unemployment. This unjust hike exacerbates the economic hardship faced by millions and underscores the urgent need for a living wage that can provide decent living standards for all workers.

The SWL firmly believes that the struggle for a living wage and decent work is an essential element of the struggle of the working class for its total emancipation from the shackles of wage labour and systemic exploitation. This strike is not just about electricity tariffs or wages; it is about reclaiming our dignity and demanding a society where the needs of the many are prioritised over the profits of the few.

We call on all working people, including in the informal economy and the unemployed, to join hands with the NLC and TUC in this crucial struggle. It is only through collective action and solidarity that we can achieve meaningful change. By joining working-class organisations such as unions and socialist organisations, and participating in collective struggles, we can build a powerful movement capable of challenging and defeating the unjust structures that perpetuate inequality and poverty.

The current economic policies are a stark reminder of the government’s failure to ensure the wellbeing of working people. The Socialist Workers League unequivocally calls on the government to listen to the voice of the workers and to engage in meaningful dialogue to address their legitimate demands. A living wage is not a privilege; it is a fundamental right that ensures workers can live with dignity and security.

In this pivotal moment, we also appeal to civil society organisations, students, community groups, and all progressive forces to support the NLC and TUC. Let us stand together in solidarity, for our collective strength lies in our unity. Together, we can build a society that guarantees social and economic justice for all.

The Socialist Workers League reiterates its unwavering support for the NLC, TUC, and all Nigerian workers in their fight for a better future. We are committed to continuing this struggle until we achieve a society free from exploitation, where every worker is respected and valued, and where economic policies are determined by working people, and serve their interests, and not those of a handful of capitalists.

Kunle ‘Wizeman’ Ajayi (National Chairperson) & Amara NWOSU (National Secretary):Statement Issued by the SWL Central Committee on 3 June 2024

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