The Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) in Kogi State has called on Civil Societies to collaborate with the union to put an end to bad policies of Government against workers in the Country.
The Kogi State NLC Chairman, Comrade Gabriel Amari made the call on Tuesday at a one day retreat on “building foundation for strong and vibrant labour movement in the State” organized by the union in collaboration with Rajans Global Ventures limited.
While describing workers as the engine room of Nigeria economy, Amari noted that Kogi State Government is being faced with challenges of getting it’s policies right for economic activities and social development that will address the needs and aspiration of the people.
He opined that the absence of enabling policies that will lead to the growth and development of Kogi State has put pressure on NLC to come up with this retreat for engagement with government with the aim of making recommendations and inputs formulations of policies by the government.
“Given accentuation of policy failure as a result of economic competition in a global environment, hundred of thousands of jobs have been lost, thus worsening the condition of working class.
“The NLC Kogi State Council has seen the need to defend Civil Right, job and Living conditions of the people hence, the reason for NLC to form a coalition with Civil Society Organization in order to come up with a formidable team that will be action packed”.
Speaking on issues currently affecting workers in the Country, the Kogi NLC Chairman called on Government to urgently look at measures aside providing palliatives to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
While commending workers for participating in the two days warning strike, the Labour leader
lamented that some workers in Kogi State deliberately sabotage the effort of the union by going to work which was against the directive of the labour leaders.
This he said is totally uncalled for and does not speak well for workers who are seeking for a better welfare from government to earn a leaving.
“How do you want government to know we are suffering when you are doing something contrary to labour directive? It it through collective effort for us to achieve our goals. But when we are divided, we won’t achieve any result” he said
He, however, lamented that Government recently came out with deceit and are not willing to look at the five point demands of Nigeria workers across the federation.
Amari also identified failures from union leaders as some of the reasons why the plight of workers had failed to materialized, just as he admonished them to rise up and defend themselves against perpetual slavery.
Continuing, Amari said ” The renewed hope they promised us is dashed. From a reliable source, their is no work going on in the refinery. We must stand up, work together to achieve our dream in Nigeria. This can only be achieved through synergy”.
Amari told the gathering that workers have lost confidence in political office holders, adding that, they should come out plain and tell workers their plans if they are elected to serve in Kogi State.
“It is high time we put aside sentiment, let those vying for political office swear with Amadioha, Shango or any other traditional means. If they can do this, when they fail to meet the promise they made to electorates, thunder will strike them immediately. But when we continue with this old system of oath taking, they always believe that even though they failed us, nothing will happen to them”.
In his paper presentation on “Labour movement and the political system of society, imperative for building synergies between the trade unions and Civil Society in Nigeria” the CEO of Rajans Global Ventures limited, Comrade Rajan Suleiman said CSOs has through their advocacy engaged the State by articulating the interest of members, moulding public opinions and holding State or those in power to account.
Explaining further on the need for Civil Society and Labour to collaborate for the interest of workers, Comrade Suleiman said
“In order to strengthen the powers of the Labour Movement in the State, there is a need for a Strong Coalition Between the Labour Unions and Civil Society Organizations. This should be a coalition of the Trade Unions, Workers and Traders Associations and Civil Society Organizations in the State,
“This coalition when formed will bring all non-state actors in the state under a distinct formation, allowing them to speak with one voice, and giving muscles to advocate for the common good of the suffering masses”.
Also in his paper presentation, the Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement, (INGRA) Comrade Hamza Aliyu who was represented by Ikechukwu Mpama noted that, the collaboration between civil society” organizations and organized labor in Nigeria is crucial for, advocating for workers’ tights, addressing social justice issues, and promoting fair labor practices.
” By working together, these two sectors can create a stronger, more influent, force that can drive positive change in the labor market and society as whole” he stated.