By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
Mrs Olaoluwa Ajibiye, Director of Training, Social Protection Department, at Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, has advised Labour Unions in Nigeria to always use dialogue to reach peaceful resolution with government at all tiers.
Ajiboye gave the advise in her paper presentation on Wednesday at the workshop organized by the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Kwara Council.
Her paper presentation was entitled: ” The Place of Union Leaders in Dynamic Workplace Post COVID-19 Experience “.
The expert on Labour Studies submitted that embarking on industrial actions should be the last resort after all avenues might have been explored.
She appealed to government at all levels to implement agreement reached with unions to avert industrial actions across the country.
According to her, it is necessary that trade unions leaders adopt dynamic strategies that will enhance their place in the protection of their members and workers as a whole.
“The negotiated benefits of union members, more often than not , results in better welfare and working conditions for the larger workers population.
“While the typical roles are not diminished, additional roles are key, in order to be well situated for leadership,” she said.
Speaking on impact of COVID-19 on work and livelihood, Ajiboye said that millions of jobs were gravely affected due to the pandemic.
She opined that in many countries, the pandemic has been used as a tactic to eliminate trade unions, by triggering union leaders and union members for dismissal during layoffs.
“Employers are using short-term contracts, and increasing day labour contracts in some countries; desperate workers are returning to work but with insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),” she said.
The Labour expert observed that the trade unions response to the pandemic in Nigeria, has resulted to trade unions especially in sectors of health, aviation and hospitality bark on series of industrial actions to demand for safe and secure work environment.
She, therefore, advised unions leaders to prepare for post COVID-19 experience, while intensifying efforts to secure better experience for members in present situations.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Isah Mohammed, NASU-Kwara State Chairman emphasised the importance of education to members.
He said that educational workshop and other learning programmes organised by the the Union is of utmost benefits to members.