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Food union workers lament as robots take over jobs

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Workers under the aegis of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), have continued to lament the use of robots in factories, expressing fear that it is now taking over their jobs.

They expressed worry that the situation has become a huge challenge for the union, as it has cost them to lose over 3,000 of their members due to retrenchment.

Describing the situation as a big loss to the union, NUFBTE President, Lateef Oyelekan, said to sustain the group through its diversification agenda, it is expanding its business frontiers with over N200 million investments.

This, Oyelekan said is to build on the success achieved by the union so far. 

According to him, the amount saved from the current investment would be committed to expanding the union’s tentacles in business, more so to save the union from future financial embarrassment.

He said: “The expansion is part of our long term project to sustain the union because last year, we lost over 3,000 members due to retrenchment, and those numbers cannot be regained within the same years even with new investments coming into the country, and we have continued to lose check off dues.

“Hence, we have concluded plans to build a new hotel either in Ibadan or Port Harcourt, as well as a water factory. Our projection really is to have our water factory in all our 13 states’ councils.”

Similarly, the Coordinating Secretary of Branch Leadership’s Forum, James Olukanni, said the organisation is investing more to save for the rainy days, which is more important to them as members of the union.

“Today, part of what brought us to limelight is our prudence and meticulous investments such as commercial hotel, solidarity infinity venture, water factory plant, and befitting secretariat among others.

“The National president announced to the NEC in session that a saving of N200 million has been made in order to kick start another modest five-star hotel very soon. We believe we all need to embrace the sacrifice of today for the pleasure of tomorrow”.

He explained that the suspension of the delegate conference for two years was due to the fact that most of the ongoing projects in the national headquarters need to be completed.

Thereafter, new investments across state councils is to lay a good legacy and sustaining the future for the incoming leaders at various levels of the union’s structure.


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