By Victor Ahiuma-Young
FORMER President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Adams Eric Oshiomhole, yesterday clocked 66 years.
Comrade Oshiomhole who is also the immediate past governor of Edo State, was born in Iyamoh, Auchi in Edo State.
Also, a former General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, Oshiomhole became exposed to trade union activism at a very tender age where he worked as a factory worker at Arewa Textiles after he was earlier thrown out because a manager felt Oshiomhole was too short and frail to cope with the reality of factory work.
This singular experience was one of the defining moments that shaped his perception that justice and fairness are rare in the workplace.
He, however, got a job because another manager in the same factory was willing to give him a chance to prove the other manager wrong.
From the design section of the Arewa Textile, Adams experienced real injustices perpetrated by management and its agents, from poor pay, to authoritarianism and unfair practices, without room for fair hearing or redress.
In the year 1971, a spontaneous disturbance afforded him an opportunity to show his innate leadership qualities that proved to his colleagues Adams could make a difference.
In 1975, he could no longer stomach what was going on in the factory so he abandoned the textile mill and became a full-time unionist. From then till now, he has not looked back.
He rose to become President of the NLC and arguably the most successful and respected labour leader of present-day Nigeria.
Vanguard Media Limited, publishers of Vanguard Newspapers wishes Comrade Oshiomhole a happy birthday and many happy returns.