By Elizabeth Adegbesan
THE Precision Electrical and Related Equipment Senior Staff Association, PERESSA, has raised the alarm over high rate of factory closures in the sector occasioned by unfavourable government policies.
In an acceptance speech after his election at the association’s 8th Triennial Delegates Conference, newly elected President of PERESSA, Mr Rufus Olusesan, lamented the government induced inflationary pressure on companies and workers wellbeing.
According to him, “The cost of living and inflation is skyrocketing and more Nigerians are forced into poverty, making Nigeria the poverty headquarters of the world. Budgetary allocation to social services like education, and healthcare is nothing to write home about. All of these are a product of a government that rests on capitalism and its exploitative policies.
“PERESSA needs our collective sacrifice geared towards rebuilding; we recognize that factory closures, retrenchment and casualization remain a serious threat to our existence. We must ensure our struggle for concessions from employers of labour must not be compromised or allowed to undermine our members’ interest. We shall engage in unionization drive, organising training, Secretariat staff welfare, and implementation of Pension Reform Act, Employees Compensation Act, Labour Law and other Extant Laws will be our priority while we wish to assure you of our robust representation.
“As things stand today, the labour movement must acknowledge that the cause of poor wages, unemployment, insecurity etc., is the implementation of anti-poor policies (privatization, deregulation, trade liberalization, commercialization, underfunding of social services, casualization etc).
“The cost of living and inflation is skyrocketing and more Nigerians are forced into poverty making Nigeria the poverty headquarters of the world. Budgetary allocation to social services like education, and healthcare is nothing to write home about. These are products of a government that rests on capitalism and its exploitative policies.
“I am of the firm belief that employers of labour must be made to guarantee decent working conditions.Workers create wealth and must benefit from the wealth they created. This can only happen when we organise, mobilise and are ready to fight to uncompromisingly defend the interest of our members.
Olusesan vowed to ensure the association’s interest saying, “I vow before you today that I shall lead you from the front and not the rear to ensure that every interest of members of PERESSA is defended and fought for. Remember that if we fight we may win and if we don’t, we have already lost.”
In his welcome address, the immediate past President/ Ex-Officio of PERESSA, Mr. David Adi among others, said: “In 1994 I joined PERESSA. I started as one of the ex-official from where I rose to where I am now. In 1994, we had 29 companies that belonged to PERESSA. As I am speaking now, the total number of companies in PERESSA is less than eight. Even the eight are not viable to stand as a branch of PERESSA.”