The Education Rights Campaign has urged polytechnic students to join their lecturers in the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike.
Recall that ASUP on Tuesday declared an indefinite strike to demand the implementation of a new salary scheme for polytechnic lecturers.
In a press statement by its Deputy National Coordinator, Ogunjimi Isaac, and Acting National Mobilization Officer, Adaramoye Michael, on Wednesday, ERC advised students to stage peaceful mass protests.
“We call on Polytechnic students to support the strike and embark on peaceful mass protests and demonstrations to compel government to meet the demands,” the group said.
ERC, in the statement titled, ‘ERC supports ASUP strike’, lamented that strikes by different categories of workers are a sign that the Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)-led Federal Government is failing.
The group further expressed fear that other categories of workers may soon embark on strike.
Part of the statement read, “The ERC fully supports the demands of the striking members of ASUP and call on the government to immediately and unconditionally meet their demands.
“We also strongly advise ASUP not to make this strike a sit at home action. Rather they should organise public activities like press campaign, leafletting, public symposia, peaceful protests etc in order to build public support.
“Aside Polytechnic lecturers, resident doctors have been on strike since last week, also Shoprite workers have organised two national shutdowns against imminent threat to their job, pay and conditions as a result of sale of the company and this week, judicial workers have equally started a strike thereby shutting the courts. Many other categories of workers are likely to embark on strike in coming weeks and months.
“We wish to affirm that incessant strikes by different categories of workers are signs that show the Buhari capitalist government has failed. What is urgently needed is to unite all these struggles into a powerful movement that can win demands while simultaneously building a mass workers political alternative to wrest power from the capitalist elite and bring into power a government composed of workers, youth and the poor masses and armed with socialist policies.
“Only such a government can utilize the resources of Nigeria to fund public education and healthcare adequately, guarantee living wage and decent work conditions, thereby putting an end to the legacy of incessant strikes and agitations.
“We, therefore, urge the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, as a first step, to call a day of action involving protests and demonstrations to give solidarity to the struggles of striking doctors, polytechnic lecturers, Shoprite workers and judicial workers.
“Such a day of action can help to compel the government and employers to back down and quickly meet the demands of the striking workers.
“Such an action can also, especially in a period dominated by sectarian and secessionist agitations, open the way to a united struggle of the entirety of the Nigerian workers by showing an example of solidarity as the cornerstone of the labour movement.”
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