The problem of unrepresentative trade union leadership is a worldwide one. Here we have an example of the corrupt leaders of a steel workers' union in Nigeria. As a result several branches have broken away and joined what they perceive as a more radical union. But the corrupt leaders of the steel workers are still there. It is the whole leadership that needs to be changed!
Thousands of people in Nigeria are driven by hunger to sell their bodies and souls to live; thousands of people, wretched and living in misery and appalling squalor, struggle to earn just enough to keep themselves alive; willing to work and begging for a chance, yet starving, condemned to hunger, dirt and disease. And yet president Obasanjo appearing on TV claims no one goes hungry in Nigeria! In which Nigeria does he live?
Venezuela and Nigeria are both oil-rich countries. But in Venezuela we have a genuine attempt at poverty alleviation, which has brought the Bolivarian regime into conflict with imperialism. In Nigeria, where Obasanjo even refuses to acknowledge that poverty exists, the regime has very good relations with imperialism
The sacked Dewhirst workers in Morocco are building up support for their struggle. Messages from Spain, Uruguay, Belgium, the USA, Britain and Sweden have been a big morale booster for them. The conditions in the factory are atrocious. Please keep the solidarity and protest messages coming in.
September witnessed an unprecedented wave of protest across the whole of Nigeria, with mass trade union rallies in all the major cities. The spark that set the movement in motion as the latest increase in the price of fuel, but the demands being raised, such as the call for the government to resign, and the mood displayed on the rallies all serve to underline that Nigeria is moving towards a revolutionary upheaval. An editorial statement from the Nigerian Marxist journal, the Workers’ Alternative.
LASCO is an umbrella body that has emerged in Nigeria which purports to have a wider representation than the unions themselves. In reality it is a body with no powers and the top union bureaucrats simply hide behind it to defuse the movement whenever it erupts and then they put it to one side once this job is done. It is time to build action committees in all the workplaces, elected by the workers and recallable.
We urge you to support this group of Moroccan workers who have been sacked simply for standing up for their rights. The British clothing manufacturer Dewhirst, linked to Marks and Spencer, pays Moroccan workers a pittance. Send protest messages and make them see that workers around the world will not accept such brutal policies.
In spite of being rich in oil Nigeria is in a state of collapse. Healthcare, education, transport, pensions and so on are all coming under attack. Unemployment is growing everywhere. An explosive mood is developing from below, while at the top the political leaders offer nothing but conferences, talk shops and so on. And yet it could be different, very different. It is in the hands of the leadership of the labour movement.
Millions of people are facing starvation in Niger. Are we to believe that this is another “natural” disaster, as the media would like us to? The fact is that there is food available in the markets of Niger, but the people cannot afford to buy it. Again, profit comes before the lives of the poor.
A series of very successful rallies have been taking place all over Nigeria against the fuel price hike. Here we provide the pdf format of the article we published earlier, Nigeria: Endless fuel price hikes. This was widely distributed at the Lagos rally, and we are making it available as a PDF file for anyone to print out.