By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
The National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has cautioned employers of labor against salary cuts, insisting that now was the time to ensure full pay for all workers.
The Textile workers in statement signed by the President and Secretary General, John Adaji and Ali Baba respectively,said they joined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the global labour movement to call on the government and private sector employers in particular to protect jobs and ensure full pay for all workers particularly at this period of COVID-19 pandemic through a variety of means, mutually agreed through collective bargaining.
They said as rightly observed by both the NLC and NECA, workers’ salaries are core elements of employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements.
“We will resist any attempt to slash or deny our members their salaries on account of COVID-19. It is more necessary than ever for both employers and labour to consult each other and collaborate on this and other issues of vital importance to the survival and growth of the organisation and welfare of workers,” they said.
The union however ,saluted their members in the textile, garment and tailoring industries across the country, veterans, the entire Nigerian workers and working people world-wide on the occasion of 2020 May Day.
They also saluted President Muhammadu Buhari for his unprecedented commitment to revive the labour intensive textile industry,and acknowledged the bold and innovative measures by his administration to revive the cotton, textile and garment (CTG) sector in line with the vision to diversify the nation’s economy.
“Textile Union will continue to partner and support President Muhammadu Buhari in his determination to revive the industry, create mass decent jobs and rebuild the nation’s economy,” they said.
“May Day offers us the great opportunity to celebrate the dignity of labour. For the working class, it is a period of reflection and a period to celebrate the role of workers in the fight for democracy and social justice. It is a special day to draw global attention to the plight of workers worldwide.”
“Unfortunately, for the first time in over 100 years, workers around the world will not be able to celebrate this year’s May Day with the usual fanfare due to the novel corona virus disease (COVID-19).”
“We salute workers worldwide for sustaining humanity during this pandemic. We commend in particular the frontline healthcare workers and other workers including those in textile and garment, emergency services, agriculture, food and retail, print and electronic media, transport, education, energy, oil and gas and informal sector who have continued to work hard to keep society functioning at a time most countries are under various forms of lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. As an affiliate of NLC, our union will continue to partner with the Federal and state governments as well as employers to contain the spread and minimize the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We shall continue to intensify our campaign for productivity improvement on the part of our members and at the same time maintain zero tolerance to exploitation and violation of workers’ rights. As economic activity gradually resumes, we call on our members to redouble their efforts towards productivity improvement. COVID-19 is far from being over. We must therefore continue to observe the preventive measures both at home and workplaces; wear your face masks and hand gloves, wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer regularly, maintain social distancing, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and stay informed by following advice given by public health authorities.”
“We call on employers to take necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus at workplaces. Employers must provide adequate protective equipment for the workers to avoid workplace transmission.”
We dedicate this year’s May Day to two (2) great veterans of the union who died recently namely; Comrade Nosiru Adeyinka Lawal, 4th democratically two-term elected President of the Union (1996 – 2004) and;Comrade Andrew S.E. Aisagbonhi, former Deputy General Secretary of the Union (2004 – 2009).
Comrade Nosiru Lawal died on Tuesday April 21, 2020 in Lagos after a brief illness. Comrade Andrew Aisagbonhi died on Thursday April 23, 2020 in Benin, Edo State. He retired in July 2009 after 31 years of service to the union.”
“We will forever remember them for their remarkable contributions to the formation, unity, growth and development of the union in particular and the labour movement in general.On behalf of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union and the generality of our members, we commiserate with their respective families and pray to God to grant the departed souls eternal rest.”