The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that building the capacity of workers through training would help contribute to the development of the nation.
The NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero, stated this at the 31st Annual Industrial Relations Seminar of the Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) in Ado-Ekiti.
The theme of the seminar is, “Social dialogue as a vehicle for promoting decent work and industrial harmony”.
Ajaero, represented by the state NLC Chairman, Mr Kolapo Olatunde, said that workers would not be able to face those he described as, ’ forces of retrogression’, without requisite capacity.
He described the union as a giant within the trade union family and commended the leadership for organising the seminar for members.
He pointed out that the theme of the seminar was essential as employers needed to create equitable working conditions for workers.
The NLC president commended the leadership of NUCFRLANMPE for ensuring that members had good welfare package.
According to him, this is important because NUCFRLANMPE members are mostly affected in workplace abuse of right and privileges.
”The rate of occupational accident and exposure to hazards occurs more in 5he chemical and footwear companies.
”I have seen amputation of various kinds, mangling of body parts and gruesome deaths that reminds us of the Ikorodu disaster in Lagos,” he said.
The labour leader said that decent work should be accompanied with fair wages, safe environment , equal opportunities and the recognition of human rights at every level of the workforce.
“Let this seminar be a beacon of inspiration, a testament to our unwavering dedication to creating a world where every worker’s right are respected.
“We protect workers in our sector, we must organise better, we must reduce the prevalence of accident in our work place,” he added.
In his solidarity message, Mr John Adaji, President, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers, said that productive employment and decent work were key elements to achieving poverty reduction.
He also said that decent job was critical in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Adaji, however, urged participants to make profound recommendations on how to use social dialogue to promote industrial harmony.
POLICIES TO BOOST ECONOMY
A union leader, Mr Babatunde Olatunji, has urged the Federal Government to create local policies that would improve the economy and lives of citizens.
Olatunji, President, National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) made the call at the opening of its 31st annual industrial relations seminar in Ekiti on Monday.
The theme of the seminar is,”Social Dialogue as a Vehicle for Promoting Decent Work and Industrial Harmony ”.
He said that the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government had impacted on manufacturers and citizens, especially workers.
He said manufacturers found it difficult to operate at optimal capacity due to high cost of diesel, gas, multiple taxes and difficult in accessing foreign exchange
According to him, it is time to revive the refineries, road networks, improve electricity supply as well as iron and steel sector which is key to economic growth.
”Insecurity should be tackled, multiple taxation, rent and charges should be regulated to allow manufacturing companies survive and promote Gross Domestic Products in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that economic issues in the nation were affecting industrial relations as they constituted threat to peaceful co-existence between employees and employers.
”One of the effects is job losses arising from factory closure and redundancy.
“Some management have devised strange practices such as outsourcing and contract staffing, which are odd to normal employment practices,” he said.
The NUCFRLANMPE leader further called on the management of companies in Nigeria to enforce decent work agenda for employees to increase productivity and grow the economy.
He pointed out that decent work agenda had remained a continuous campaign for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) since 1999, because it promote the rights of workers, social protection and social dialogue.
In his solidarity message, Mr Femi Oke, Executive Secretary, Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers Federation, said that social dialogue was key for economic and social cohesion as well as good governance.
Oke advised the State and Federal Governments to improve on the practice of social dialogue to reduce incessant unrest and improve work productivity.
Also, Mrs Grace Adeyeye, Ekiti Controller of Labour and Employment, expressed hope that the seminar would empower the talent of participants and transform their abilities with knowledge of ILO goals for decent work.
She added that the way to transform a society depended on productive thinking and viable action of stakeholders at all levels.