By Victor Young
As the nation battles the rampaging coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, the fear of job insecurity, unpaid wages among others, are major issues that Organised Labour is contending with and will face for a long time to come.
United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, no doubt appreciates the magnitude of problems and says “the Trade union movement continues facing mounting challenges especially in this pandemic which is a new experience to practically every active operative in our Organisations.”
Its President, Joe Ajaero, in a chat said among others, that only a united front by the nation’s labour movement can successfully engage social partners in post-COVID-19 challenges.
According to him, “Workers all over the world remain at the frontlines of the struggle against this novel disease. Many of them have been martyred in the process while many others yet remain at these trenches.
“The circumstances surrounding this outbreak and the responses of the social partners have created huge challenges for the movement and demands novel responses from the unions. Adequate hazard allowances and insurance was not provided for those at the frontline and it took our struggles to get the federal government and some state governments to make provisions though we still have gaps.
“Some employers are beginning to nurse the malicious and ungodly intention of cutting the salaries of workers. We have rejected it outright and have called on such employers to direct their complaints or anger to the right authorities and not take it out on the workers.
“Your movement continues building alliances within and outside the country for the purposes of enhancing solidarity which is one of the pillars of our movement and which forms the focus of our conversation in this period.
“Our affiliate base is expanding as we welcome more affiliates into our fold. Alliances have been forged with diverse Civil Society Organisations and indeed credible platforms to make us more effective in engaging our social partners and other existential issues that may confront working people all over the world and in Nigeria.”