The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), Osun State chapter has condemned the action of the Bowen University, Iwo, for sacking over 127 of its workers as a result of Covid19.
It could be recalled that the management confirmed the sacking in a statement issued last week Wednesday, said the institution decided to ‘rightsize’ in order to move forward.
In a press statement signed by state coordinators, Comrade Kola Ibrahim,
on Wednesday,CDWR described the act as insensitive.
The group called for the immediate recall of affected workers, charging the Labour Unions in the state and nationally to rise in defence of those workers.
According to the release, “The management of the Bowen University had hinged the mass sack of workers on the ground that the institution was run as a public institution not as private entity, and in order to run the institution as a private business, workers have to be sacrificed. Yet, the same institution authorities has refused to explain whether the workers are performing their functions or not. The affected workers were not reported to have committed any offence other than being workers under an insensitive management.
“Furthermore, the same excuse that the university is a private entity and not a public institutions has not been extended to top officials of the university, who earn huge emoluments, which are in manifolds of what workers collect. We find it odd that a university that was supposed to promote critical thinking will be coming with such an excuse without highlighting the problems that will be posed to the families of those sack, and the impact on the society. Worse still, this is coming at this critical time of Coronavirus, where cost of living has skyrocketed, not to mention the health implications.
“The argument of the Bowen University management that the institution is a private entity again underscores the reality that most private big businesses are run not to provide jobs and means of livelihood but to amass wealth for their owners. They are not prepared to bear any risk to their profits and ostentatious lifestyles of their top officials. They are quick to offload any marginal loss of short term profits on the workers, who by no means cause such loss. This again punctures a big hole in the capitalist neo-liberal ideology which tend to suggest that by enticing private businesses, jobs can be provided.
“Worse still, the mass sack of workers at Bowen University, which mirrors similar sack across many private companies, shows the irresponsibility of Nigerian government, especially at this critical time. While the Nigerian government pretends to wanting to protect jobs in this Covid-19 crisis period, it looks the other way when workers are sacked. It is also unfortunate that leadership of labour unions prefer cosy relationship with employers under the guise of collective industrial harmony, even while workers are facing their biggest attacks in terms of mass sack, cut in wages and exploitation, both in the public and private sectors.
“We call on labour unions, especially the education sector unions, NLC, TUC and ULC to rise in defence of these Bowen workers and others who are being sacked or exploited across the state and the country. We call for a solidarity picketing of Bowen University, among other peaceful mass actions. We also call on labour movement to have a holistic plan of defending workers at workplaces and factories who are going be made sacrificial lambs by employers in this Covid-19 era. We in the CDWR are ready to join the Bowen workers to fight this injustice”. Statement read
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