MINILS DG tasks Trade Unions to defend Democracy in Africa

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…..Hails Anambra Guber Poll

The Director General of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) in Ilorin, Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu has urged organized labour and civil society organizations in Africa to complement elected democratic governments in Africa by defending constitutionalism and opposing military coups.

The Director General who is also a member of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, ( NIPSS) Kuru Jos spoke while declaring open a regular in -plant seminar on “Conflict Resolution Through Interest Based Bargaining: Strategies and Structure” attended by the Officials of Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisations, Heads of Departments/Units, Labour and Development and Officials Responsible for Labour-Management Relations in the country.

Comrade Aremu said it was imperative against the background of what he called “recent unacceptable undemocratic” military coups in Mali, Guinea and Sudan, that trade unionists speak out and resist unconstitutional usurpation of power in the continent.

According to him, the first casualties of unconstitutional order are human and trade union rights, adding that “illegal regime changes are as much a threat to elected ruling class as much as to the poor working class.”

While hailing decades of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa , the Director General observed that trade Unions had rightly taken advantage of the democratic space in these countries to advance the cause of the working class through wage improvement, collective bargaining, free and exercise of freedom of association.

“Organized labour which suffered violations of rights through union dissolutions, income poverty and imprisonments have more stakes in defending democracy than any other groups in Africa, ” Aremu noted.

He, therefore, called on organized labour movement to condemn and resist any “undemocratic short cut” to power, adding that “sustainable development is only possible through rules and process which only democracy guarantees”.

“There is a long assured road to prosperity through democracy, while short cut thorny path of military regimes perpetuates poverty, lack of accountability and underdevelopment,” he said.

Aremu commended the resolution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to impose sanctions against the military regimes in Guinea and Mali.

In a related development, the Director General has hailed the INEC, political parties and the security agencies for conducting free and fair guber poll in Anambra.

He observed that “ Anambra shows that sustaining democracy is possible with external vigilance and resilience of the people.”

Meanwhile, the Director General disclosed that in line with its mandate to offer policy advice to all stakeholders in managing conflicts at work places, the Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) on the directive of the Honorable Minister of state for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo has waded into the three week nation- wide strike embarked upon by the Joint Research and Allied Institution Unions (JORAISU) on the implementation of a disputed 10-year agreement on wages and allowances towards a mutually acceptable resolution by all the parties


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