Victor Osakwe (Secretary), Rufus Olusesan (Chairman)
18 February 2008
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers CDWR) calls on the government to meet the demands the Judicial Staff Union (JUSUN) that had just suspended its industrial action.
We implore the government to ensure that the workers do not have cause again to resume the strike suspended in honour of government avowed willingness to enter into meaningful agreement with the union over its demands.
Having forced government to the roundtable, we urge the Judicial Staff Union (JUSUN) not to rest on their oars, and rather be prepared to wage more struggles as a means of compelling the government to meet its demands.
This is because, over time, government had adorned itself with the odious and unenviable reputation of reneging from agreements it reached at the negotiating table.
We also call on the NLC, TUC, and civil society groups to support the judicial workers in their demands for improvement in living and working conditions.
We however utterly condemn the reckless and irresponsible statement credited to Justice Umaru Abdullahi, president of the Appeal Court, Abuja division, warning the judicial workers at the appellate court against joining the strike. The notice signed by the court’s Acting Registrar, Bode Thomas, reads “any employee who decides to absent himself from duty under the guise of obeying the state judiciary union’s strike should regard himself as having abandoned his job and should look elsewhere for employment” (Guardian February 13, 2008).
It is reprehensible for such statement to come from a court of justice, which is supposedly the last hope of the common person. Workers have fundamental rights to join strike in order to compel government or any other employer to meet their demands. It is the inalienable right of workers to unionise, embark on legitimate strike, and picket union branches/ work places to enforce compliance with the collective decisions taken by the affected union.
The CDWR is of the opinion that it is only through the collective effort of Organised Labour as well as its genuine solidarity in the struggles of the poor working masses and all other oppressed peoples, that government and other employers of labour will be compelled to meet the legitimate demands of all such oppressed peoples. This is because, no matter how germane and correct workers demands are, governments and most employers of labour never see reasons as to why such demands should be met; unless they are compelled by industrial actions.