All supporters of Socialist Labour should be active in their trade union branches. That way we can all help to win a decent minimum wage and other improvements in our working lives.

Below we provide some practical advice. 

We need to improve this guidance with your ideas, suggestions and experience.

Talk to your work colleagues about the key demands that the trade unions should be making locally and nationally. 

Find out who your local trade union branch officials are (chair, secretary, treasurer etc). Talk to them about calling a full general branch meeting to discuss, for example, the NLC/TUC campaign for a decent minimum wage, the implementation of the Oronsaye Report and preparations that can be made for action.

Develop a motion to be discussed and agreed by your trade union branch. You could perhaps use and adopt the following, for example:

This trade union branch (insert name) congratulates the NLC/TUC for its commitment to demanding a decent minimum wage and against job losses from the implementation of the Oronsaye Report . 

We call on the NLC/TUC to widen its demands to include the following.  Any strike action should be continued until each of these demands has actually been fully implemented:

  • payment of a decent minimum wage with annual increments at least as high as inflation
  • payments of the award of N35k a month to all federal workers
  • payment of all salary and pension arrears in states and payment of proper palliatives
  • reversal of tuition fee hikes and the introduction of a maximum affordable fee level
  • payment of all with-held salaries to ASUU and other education unions for 2022 strike
  • reversal of the hikes in petrol prices
  • removal of the collection of levies, fees, dues and tolls from petty traders.

We call on our trade union branch officers to support any local community protests over the cost of living. We need an alliance between the trades unions, the market women and other informal workers.

We call on our state trade union officers organise town hall meetings to popularise our demands.

This motion should be submitted to the state and national levels of the union for support and ratification.

If your trade union branch officers do not call a general meeting for your trade union branch in the next few days, then develop a petition for your colleagues to sign to demand such a general meeting.

Find out when the next elections are to be held for your branch executive and consider standing for one of the positions or proposing another comrade who may be a good trade union leader. This may enable you to become more active in your trade union at the state level.

We need to expand the number of public sector organisations where the trade unions are properly organised. There are several government agencies that do not have trade union branches. Where services are outsourced, for example, security, such workers should be encourage to join the main trade union in the building they are protecting.  A better organised public sector will give confidence to the private and informal sectors to build more effective trade unions. We need to make it easier for casual workers to join the appropriate trade union.

We need to organise trade unions in organisations where they are currently banned, like Customs, Central Bank, EFCC IPCP etc. The list is now far too wide and much wider than in many other countries. Staff of many such organisations are organised in trade unions in other countries.  Prison staff, for example, are members of a TUC member union in Britain.

We need to take action when full salaries are not paid on or before the 25th of each month. Even the Federal Government has allowed to let this slip. The NLC General Secretary said at the 2023 Harmattan School – “once any workers have not been paid for a month, then a strike should start automatically. This is a standing order.”

We need to ensure that arrears of salary and pensions are not allowed to develop and are paid off as quickly as possible.  All Governors have enough money to be able to pay these arrears in at most a few months.

We need to ensure that no-one is suspended as a result of a verification exercise until the case has been fully investigated.  Any removals from payroll should have to be agreed with the relevant trade union branch officers.

Basic state level trade union organisation needs to be improved. Trade unions need to check more carefully that the check-off dues are received accurately each month from all the relevant organisations.

If these basic steps are taken then the vitality of the whole trade union movement will be improved and we will all benefit. More details are available from the following pamphlet:


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