We need system that puts workers’ interest on front burner — Labour


By Esenvosa Izah

Lagos, May 16, 2022 A labour leader, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, has urged labour unions to canvass for a new socio-economic system.

He called for a system that would put the interest of working people and their allies in the peasantry and informal sector on the front burner.

Komolafe made the call at the Lagos State Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) 5th Triennial State Delegates’ Conference held on Monday in Lagos.

He is the General Secretary, Federation of Informal Workers Organization of Nigeria (FIWON), a trade union organisation.

Komolafe was guest lecturer at the conference, with the theme, ‘’The Role of Labour in Nation Building through Electioneering Process’’.

‘’Historically, labour has always been upfront in defining a direction for the political trajectory.

‘’In the anti-colonial struggle that led to independence, labour played leading roles and helped to define a political programme and vision that benefitted not just a few privileged people, but working people as well.

‘’So, we must go back to that tradition where organised labour are able to play more frontal roles, meaning, they should be able to have their own political platform, ‘’ he said.

He said also that labour’s role in building the nation was more central, particularly as the country was facing a lot of challenges.

According to him, labour unions are the only organisations that are true Pan-Nigerian, as they identify themselves labour, commonality of interest and are able to project those interests collectively.

‘’We think that tradition of unity that transcends tribalism and sectionalism should be brought to play in the political terrain.

‘’So, it is in that context we think that labour has a central role to play; that their current effort to rebuild the labour party must be commended and infact, should be supported, ‘’ Komolafe said.

In his remarks, the state Chairman, TUC, Mr Gbenga Ekundayo, said there was need to change the mindset of union members that everyone was a part of government, therefore, the need to be involved in shaping the economy.

‘’What we are doing as a labour centre is to galvanise all comrades across the affiliates to encourage them to be involved this time around, practically and decisively in the election process.

‘’We want to ensure that every member is encouraged to get a PVC and also, very importantly, scrutinise all contestants so that we can actually put the right people in those offices.

‘’People that we can go to, will listen, amend their processes and operations as necessary, so that the dividend of democracy can get to the common man.

‘’In doing that, TUC has instituted the political commission to carry on with the political education, conscientisation of our members to really get them involved, ‘’ Ekundayo said.