12 July 2006
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns in totality the proposed mass retrenchment of 33, 000 workers in the Federal Government civil service and demands an end to the World Bank/IMF inspired anti-poor, pro-rich neo-liberal agenda.
Sacking workers in Nigeria where the poor working masses literally rely on self-help to provide their basic needs (electricity, water, education, health care, etc) despite their low purchasing power, to say the least, is callous, provocative and inhuman. Moreover, it is highly insensitive to retrench workers in a situation when labour market is already over-saturated. More so, when no social benefit is paid to the unemployed as government continues to abandon its social responsibilities to the people. This is in spite of the abundant natural resources and fabulous wealth that accrues to the government from sales of crude oil, taxes, and other revenues.
It is also paradoxical for an Obasanjo government with its much touted plan to create seven million jobs through its National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) to opt for downsizing of its workforce.
The CDWR calls on the labour centres, (Nigeria Labour Congress, Congress of Free Trade Unions and Trade Union Congress), civil society groups both internationally and in Nigeria, and pro-masses’ organisations and parties to openly condemn the proposed sack and the anti-poor neo-liberal policies of the Obasanjo government and organise serious protests.
Internationally we call on workers’ and pro-masses’ organisations to send letters of protest to the CDWR address:
We also call on the labour and pro-masses’ organisations and parties to form a formidable political alternative to wrest power from the parasitic pro-capitalist governments in order to guarantee basic needs of life for the poor working masses and set on the process of ending the extreme poverty ravaging in the country.
Victor Osakwe, CDWR secretary, July 12