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Aborisade urges workers to resist implementation of Oronsanye report

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Aborisade

Labour activist and human rights lawyer, Femi Aborisade, yesterday urged Nigerian workers to resist the implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye Report on the merging of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Aborisade, who made the call in his Workers’ Day message made available to The Guardian in Ibadan, Oyo State, also charged the workers not to allow the leaders to hide under the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to deny them their rights.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday approved the implementation of a 2011 report submitted by the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies commonly referred to as ‘Oronsaye Report’.

The former lecturer and governorship candidate in the 2003 elections in Oyo said, “May Day is rooted in the global workers’ rich tradition of defiance to fight to protect, advance and promote workers’ rights and interests.

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“Nigerian workers should not allow the ruling class to hide under COVID-19 to deprive them their democratic rights to assemble and protest peacefully in defence of jobs and salaries and pension that match the rate of inflation.

“In this period of COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian labour movement should fight for free medical care, criminalisation of medical tourism, guaranteed minimum income for the vulnerable classes and ‘no palliatives, no lockdown’.

“In the name of May Day and the sacrifices made by workers internationally to make today a global Workers’ Day, I call on workers and their organisations to resist the implementation of the Oronsaye Report, which carries the implication of job losses, as agencies and parastatals are merged without consultation and collective bargaining with workers’ representatives as enjoined by the Collective Bargaining Convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“I also call on the Federal Government to pay the salaries of university teachers in federal universities. Despite the publicly announced presidential directive, the lecturers have not been paid several months of their salaries.

It is unacceptable for the government as an employer of labour to set the wicked example of resolving industrial disputes by the weapon of hunger.”

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