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Shun government patronage to serve workers better, Macaulay tells NLC

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Director General of the Warri Uvwie and Environs Special Area Development Agency (WUEDA), Comrade Ovuozurie Macaulay, has urged the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to reduce government’s patronage and involvement in its electioneering to enable it serve workers better.

Macaulay, who was Delta State chapter chairman of the union, gave the advice yesterday while delivering a paper entitled, “Engaging governments at state level”, at the 2019 NLC National Leadership Retreat in Enugu.

He stressed the need for labour leaders to sacrifice their comfort in defence of the economic interest of workers.

The erstwhile Secretary to the State Government (SSG) said: “A defined level of independence must be enshrined in the respectability of the union to garner poise”, adding: “The heavy clampdown on dissenting voices in most states was a pointer to the serious disconnect between government and labour.”

He canvassed more involvement of the union in the process of political participation across the federation, noting: “In engaging the state governments, NLC officials also have to deepen the level of political education among their members. This is very important because of its whole activities that revolve around collective bargain.”

Macaulay continued: “Another aspect of the struggle is the need to be actively involved in a wider class struggle. To achieve this mandate, unions must collaborate with civil societies, socialist groups, radical student groups and progressive political parties, among others.

“Labour unions are a necessity if the interests of workers are to be adequately catered,” harping on the need for unionists to be proactive in their quest for the common good of members.


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