PENGASSAN seeks effective unionism to protect members, sustain jobs
To cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on labour and protect jobs, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called for effective trade unionism.
The union urged the labour movement to focus more on information and research, collaboration and engagement, training and development, stakeholders’ management, job security for members centred on skill acquisition and improvement and the overall wellbeing of the members and employees.
In a paper presented on COVID-19 Challenges and Union Response by General Secretary of PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okugbawa, at the commemoration of Africa Industrialisation Day recently, he said as part of the new thinking and approach, activism going forward should focus on the bigger picture devoid of self-interest.
He said activism should focus on ensuring constructive engagements with all relevant stakeholders, geared towards addressing issues on diversification of the economy to attract more streams of income to counter the dwindling revenue, improved productivity through processes, job creation and protection through self-development and new skills acquisition.
He said: “As a responsible association with a huge stake in our economy, we must rise to the occasion by ensuring that we offer sound policy alternatives to management and government that will not only improve the revenue base but will also create more jobs for our teeming youths.
“The new thinking and approach shall see us invest in research and development where our members shall be exposed to modern trend in all spheres of business.”Okugbawa listed some of the challenges posed by COVID-19 to trade union on job security, job offshore, artificial intelligence/ robots, employees’ health and work-life balance, fiscal and monetary impacts.
Be argued that as a union, PENGASSAN must start to review its previous strategies and rejig them towards ensuring that while it continues to protect its members from the adverse effects of the current reality, the union must equally educate its members on personal improvement and accountability that will see them improve on their job deliverables while improving their skills for further opportunities for growth in the ever-changing and fast-paced environment.