There is no evidence that Trade Unions, as it is known today existed in any part of present day Nigeria earlier than 1912 when the Southern Nigerian Civil Service Union was formed (Uviegheva; 1984: 15). Due to the amalgamation of Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1914 by the colonial powers, the union changed its name to Nigerian Civil Service Union. Essentially, the union was to "promote the welfare and interests of native members of the Civil Service." (Uviegheva: 1984: p.16).
Similarly, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) was formed in 1931 to provide a forum where Teachers could maintain good professionalism and forge a good standard of education in Nigeria" In the same year, the Railway Workers Union broke away from the Nigerian Civil Union due to perceived inadequacies and limitations of the union.
It must be noted that these three Unions namely: The Nigerian Civil Service Union, Nigeria Union of Teachers and Railway Workers Union were established without legal recognition. Thus, the colonial overlord first recognized the need to accord these unions legal recognition through the advice of Lord Passfield in 1930 when he advised that:
I regard the formation of such associations in the dependencies as the legitimate consequence of social and industrial progress, but I recognize that there is a danger that, without sympathetic supervision and guidance, organization of labourers without experience of combination for any social or economic progress, may fall under the domination of disaffected persons, by which their activities may be diverted to improper and mischievous ends. I accordingly feel that it is the duty of colonial government to take such steps as may be possible to smoothen the passage of such organizations, as they emerge into constitutional channels. As a step in this direction, it is in my opinion desirable that legislations in the lines of Sections 2 and 3 of the Trade Union Act (UK) of 1871 should be enacted in all dependencies where it does not already exist, declaring that trade unions are not criminal or unlawful for civil purpose, and also providing for the compulsory registration of the trade unions (quoted in Adewumi, 2004. 8).
The colonial authority heeded this timely advice in 1938 when the Trade Union Ordinance as well as impetus to form new ones. The law then allowed five or more workers to form a trade union. Consequent upon the above, many mushroom trade unions which were one employer or enterprise base were formed leading to proliferation of unions with many of them having less than 250 members (Fashoyin, 1986: 17).
This trend continued till 1975 when the Federal Military Government decided to take the initiative to streamline the activities of the movement with the setting up of the Adebiyi Panel instituted to inquire into the affairs of the various trade union centres and the house unions. Mr. Michael O. Abiodun, a retired Labour Office was appointed in 1976 as Administrator of Trade Unions to implement the recommendations of the panel.
The Administrator was therefore saddled with the task of restructuring the existing in-house unions into "fewer, stronger and more effective industrial unions" (Adewumi, 2006: 10). The government action was most desirable as it set out to create strong and virile trade union on industrial basis as against the weak, disorganized mushroom unions which existed before government intervention.
The Administrator’s report provided the needed instrument for the promulgation of the Trade Unions (Amendment) Decree No. 22 of 1978 which gave legal recognition to 42 Industrial Unions, 15 Senior Staff Associations, 9 Employers Associations and 4 Professional Unions. The Law also recognized the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as the only Central Labour Organization with the 42 Industrial Unions as affiliates.
Fortunately, National Union of Hotels and Personal Services Workers (NUHPSW) was one of the industrial unions registered. As stated in the Extra Ordinary Gazette No. 6 Volume 65 of 1978, the union NUHPSW) was authorized to organize workers in establishment which specialize in the rendition of services generally involving the care of the person or his apparel as follows:
As expected, all registered unions were to organize inaugural conferences essentially to adopt their constitution and elect national officers. The inaugural conference of the union took place on October 31, 1977 at the Cultural Centre in the ancient city of Benin, the capital of old Bendel State. The conference was attended by representatives from the following in-house unions:
At the conference, each of the in-house unions had ten representatives.
As stated earlier, one important item on the agenda of the conference was the election of national officers to pilot the affairs of the union for two years. At the polls, which was supervised by the Chief Labour Officer, Late Mr. Simon O. Okougbo from the Federal Ministry of Labour, Late Comrade Benson Oduduru, a worker in Domo Hotels, Lagos owned by the government of Cross Rivers State, emerged as the National President. Other National Officers elected were:
It is germane to point out that, all the above elected officers belonged to the same caucus which prompted the losing group(s) to formally protest and challenge the validity of the elections via a petition filed with the Federal Ministry of Labour. This petition died a natural death due to:
Nathaniel Lukula who contested against the elected National President and the arrow head of the petitioners resigned from services of the Nigerian Hotels Limited immediately after the conference.
Representatives of the petitioners met with the leadership of the union to discuss issues raised in the petition which prompted the co-option of some members from Nigerian Hotels Limited, Federal Palace Hotel and Nigerian Catering Company into the National Executive Council of the union thereby giving them a say in the administration of the union and also offering them a sense of belonging.
Also, the Administrator of Trade Unions, Michael Abiodun appointed by the govemment was not ready to be distracted with such petitions which could truncate his assignment. It was also argued that, such action could jeopardize the conclusion of the inaugural conference on schedule and such unions stood the risk of not being registered and issued certificates as Industrial Unions.
Having concluded the inaugural conference, the union's attention was shifted to the appointment of full-time officers to run its administrative machineries at all levels. The seven-man panel constituted to interview and appoint these officers was headed by Mr. Benson Oduduru, the National President while the Federal Ministry of Labour was represented on the panel by Late Mr. A. H. Odungide, an adviser to the Federal Military Government on Labour matters.
Although followers, members and friends of the union had expected Comrade A. I.A. Okwese or Chief H. I. S Uche to be appointed as the General Secretary, this dream never came to fulfillment.
Those appointed were:
All these appointments were made in January; 1978.The point must be made that, with the inception of industrial unions and the introduction of automatic check- off system, professionals within the academic, lawyers and senior civil servants started to lobby the government to make law that, appointment of full time officers of the industrial union be made an open market affair. They had envisaged that the new check-off system would transform the trade unions into lucrative organizations. However, professional unionists resisted and threatened to make things difficult for the government if it succumbs to the mounting pressures from these groups. The government response was to direct the Federal Ministry of Labour to ensure that, nobody was imposed on any union as a secretary.
Furthermore, to enable the unions and the Nigeria Labour Congress take off, the Federal Government gave a grant of N1m (one million naira) only to the movement which was shared amongst the union and the Labour Centre, NLC.
The establishment of a full administrative structure for the union, both elected and appointed at the national level, enabled the leadership to pursue fundamental objectives of a trade union which is to "protect, defend and promote the rights, well being and the interests of all members" through the negotiation of enhanced conditions of service for members. One avenue to do this was the establishment of the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) for the unions. To realize this objective, the Union and the Hotel and Personal Service Employers' Association (HOPESEA) met and signed the Procedural Agreement that will guide interactions between the two social partners in 1980 thereby laying a solid foundation for negotiation within the industry.
The NJIC was established according to section 9 of the Memorandum of the Procedural Agreement to:
Items listed in part I of this agreement as at 1980 were wages and salaries, overtime rate, hours of work, annual leave duration, leave allowance, sick benefits, out-of-station allowance, acting allowance, redundancy benefits, service charge, medical facilities, transport allowance, housing allowance, and any matter mutually agreed between the Association and the Union from time to time.
The first agreement at the NJIC level, which established an industry wide condition of service, was signed on August 6 1982.
The union also embarked on the publication of the Caretaker Magazine and NUHPSW News to publicize its activities. As at 30 April, 1979 when the Magazine was launched at the Harbour Room, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, there was no single trade union journal or newspaper in the country. The magazine and the newspaper apart from diversifying the sources of union funds, also served to disseminate Trade Union information as well as a powerful tool to defend, protect and project the image of the Hotel and Personal Services Workers and the entire Nigerian Workers.
At the official launch of the Caretaker Magazine in 1979, the National President, Late Comrade Benson Oduduru itemized objectives of these publications as follows:
Employers of labour in the industry also charged the union to ensure objectivity in its publications as well as use it to promote cordial relationship between the social partners in the industry. In its good will message to the official launch of the magazine, the management of Kwara Hotels Limited called on the Union not to use the journal as a forum for struggles for wage increases and for breeding strikes but as a forum for offering constructive criticism and for rehabilitation of mutual confidence between the employers and employees for enlightening the generality of the public on the pride of belonging to the profession. This laudable venture and investment on enriching the knowledge of members within the industry was however to die a premature death due to the intra union crisis that engulfed the union immediately after the first biennial delegates conference held in Kano in 1980 and low patronage. In its drive to meet the yearning and aspirations of its members as well as fulfill the provision of Rule 11(1) of the constitution which states that: "there shall be a state council in every state of the federation", the Union embarked on an aggressive drive to open offices in all states of the federation.
In view of the important role assigned to the state councils by the constitution, the leadership of the union ensured that sizeable number of state councils were launched (and to be precise Nine) within the first year of its existence. The following state councils were launched within one year of the union's existence.
To enable these state councils cope with the challenges of take-off, a grant of N200.00 (two hundred naira only) was approved by the National Executive Council for the purchase of office equipment, furniture and stationery.
Over the years the Union NUHPSW was engulf with different crises emanating from leadership tussle which is explicitly written in the book EVOLUTION AND CRISIS BY NATIONAL UNION OF HOTEL & PERSONAL SERVICES WORKERS.
The first Republic or the first chapter in the chequered history of the purposeful and virile union inaugurated at the Cultural Centre, Benin on October 31 1977 came to a close with the conclusion of the Special Delegates' Conference convened by the appointed Government Administrator Mr. Odogwu Udobi on 20th October, 1987 at the Banquet Hall of the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. One of the Resolutions adopted at the Special Delegates Conference-in-Session State inter-alia:
The special Delegates' Conference-in-session, after careful deliberations and having considered the urgency required to ensure the implementation of its policy directives, decided to hold the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) on the 22" October, 1987. The meeting of the National Executive Council is therefore summoned for the 22" October, 1987 at the venue of the Special Delegates Conference.
In view of the foregoing therefore, all members of the NEC were requested to attend the meeting of the National Executive Council to execute the directives of the Special Delegates' Conference. With exchange of baton concluded, the newly elected and appointed officers embarked on a reconstruction exercise to regain the lost glory of the union and lay a solid foundation for future generations while preaching peace, loyalty and commitment to the union by all and sundry.
However, this newly found peace was threatened in 1997 when the General Secretary Comrade M.C. Orji was removed and headed for Court to challenge his removal from office and seek redress. Likewise, Comrade Gibson Ejimogu who was re-elected at the 2001 Jos National Delegates' Conference also headed for Court to challenge his removal from office in 2002 when he lost his job at Bristol Hotel, Lagos after the privatization of the Hotel.
These cases were not allowed to throw the Union into another protracted crisis due to the maturity of the leadership and the experience of the past. A new chapter was however opened in the life of the union when Comrade Leke Success and his team were elected at the Owerri National Delegates' Conference on 2nd December, 2005. In his manifestoes to the conference, the elected President itemized his programme of actions including his mission and vision for the union.
A total re-orientation of our union leadership, staff and members, as well as re- identifying the core values and tradition of the labour movement. We shall therefore vigorously defend the fundamental principles of a free, democratic and transparent trade union movement by:
Organizing the un-organized branches
Fighting against casualization, outsourcing and contract employment
Building an information database that will service the need of our union and strengthen collective bargaining and representation.
Strengthening our internal democratic process by conducting elections as at when due.
Accountability and transparency in all our activities.
To build a virile and dynamic union that will be able to protect, promote and defend members welfare at all times.
To realize the above laudable ideas, there is need for a conducive and suitable office accommodation. Therefore the new beginning took off with the movement of the registered office from 97, Herbert Macaulay Street, Ebute-Metta to a befitting edifice at 140, Borno Way, Ebute-Metta, Lagos in February, 2006. This relocation became necessary, in view of the dilapidated and state of disrepair of the building coupled with frequent complaints from members and associates of the union, that, the said secretariat gave the union a negative publicity. A member of the Union at the Owerri Conference described the office "as being invested with rats and cockroaches and that the edifice looks like a criminals' hideout"
Despite the lean resources available and considering the huge financial commitments to the Owerri delegates conference, the new office was furnished to taste with modern facilities that has continued to project positively to the outside world - the union's image.
To jointly chart the progranmme of new beginning targeted at repositioning the union, total re-orientation of members and staff through capacity building; a retreat was organized for both the national elected and appointed officers in March, 2006 at the Hill Station Hotel, Jos, the first in the history of the Union. The retreat provided the needed opportunity to draw a road map for the organization.
At the end of the retreat, participants jointly fashioned out new organizational drive strategies, resolved to implement policy decisions of the union as agreed, decided to discipline all erring staff without fear or favour and greed reward accordingly all staff that excel in the performance of their official duties. Above all, it was also agreed that, all members and staff of the union should preach peace and show love to one another in order to build a virile and united union.
New Secretariat Building
At the first Triennial Delegates' Conference held in Minna from 30 October to 1 November, 1990, the conference-in-session resolved to build a National Secretariat in Abuja and be completed in 1995. To fulfill this mandate, the union acquired a piece of land in Abuja but due to factors beyond the control of the past leaders, this mission could not be actualized.
In his manifestoes at the Owerri 2005 Conference, Comrade Leke Success posits that:
If elected, the administration will take the bull by the horn to hasten work on the project and complete it in due course so as to remove the burden of paying office rent annually from the Budget.
In pursuant of this goal, at its meeting of 6 March, 2006 at Hill Station Hotel, J0S the Central Working Committee set up a National Building Committee to:
Raise fund for the building of a National Secretariat in Abuja through befitting launching ceremony.
Raise fund for the project through friends of the union
Recommend to Central Working Committee the feasible date for the foundation laying ceremony.
Recommend contributions to be made by members and states councils.
Suggest any other way the union can source fund other than the sources stated above.
In its report submitted to the Central Working Committee on August 4th, 2008, the
Committee recommended amongst other things that:
A fund raising ceremony for the building of the union's secretariat in Abuja should be organized in the first week of February, 2007 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
At the launching ceremony, our target should be to raise at least N100, 000,000.00 (one hundred million naira) only.
A list of dignitaries to be invited should be drawn in consultation with various state councils.
Call members of the union are to contribute N1, 000: 00 (one thousand naira) only towards actualizing the project. The modalities for the contribution will be worked out by the various State Councils but should not exceed six months starting from January, 2007.
Each State Council, National Secretariat and staff will contribute based on their financial strength.
To ensure that substantial amount of money accrue to the coffers of the union monthly, the committee recommended that, the Central Working Committee should appeal to members of the National Executive Council to review the monthly check-off-dues payable by members.
The launching ceremony took place in Abuja on 5th February, 2007 at the Niger/Enugu/Benue Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja under the chairmanship of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who was represented by the Deputy President of Congress then and now the President of Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar
In his speech at the occasion, the National President Comrade Leke Success said amongst other things that:
The idea to build a befitting National Secretariat by the union Secretariat by the union was conceived and approved at the Minna National Delegate Conference in 1990. To achieve this lofty objective, the union applied and was allocated a piece of land in Abuja in the 90's. While previous administrations have been able to acquire all the necessary documents that will make our claim of ownership of the piece of land irrevocable, on assumption of office in 2005 and as part of our repositioning drive, submitted our certificate of occupancy for re-certification and also decided to build a national secretariat in Abuja.
The above is germane to the continued relevance of our union in the Federal Capital Territory because besides government employees, the Hospitality and Tourism Industry constitute a major employer of labour within the territory. Our physical presence will avail us opportunity to cater for our members and to also provide standard international service to our clients both local and foreign. It will also enable us to join force with both hotel managers and owners on how the industry can positively project our country's rich cultural heritage to tourists and visitors to the Federal Capital Territory.
Premised on the above, the National Executive Council meeting of the union held in Bauchi in November, 2006 approved the proposals prepared and submitted by the Building Committee set up by the Central Working Committee at its meeting of 6 March, 2006.
The committee amongst other things proposed to raise the sum of N100,000,000.00 (one hundred million naira) only to enable us erect a befitting edifice that will house our National Secretariat in Abuja and also construct a guest house for visiting staff of the union which will greatly relief the union of rental and accommodation bills.
The funds realized at the launch plus the contribution of staff and committed members which amounted to N6.5m was used to mobilize construction workers to site on 27 May, 2007. The building has since been completed within a record period of 18 (Eighteen) months and was commissioned on 18 November, 2008 by Rene Antoun, the Managing Director of Hotel Presidential, Port-Harcourt.
The idea to set up a women-commission targeted at encouraging active participation of women in Trade Union activities was first raised at the second Biennial Delegates Conference held in Calabar in 1982 when it was recommended that:
Women workers in the Hotel Industry should be encouraged to hold better position in the Union by voting them into key posts of the union, at the branch, state and national levels. Women should be trained through participation in workshops and seminars yearly which will serve as a platform to attract more women workers.
In furtherance of these objectives, the conference further recommended that:
Women's Committee be established in all states of the federation while state committees constituted with 10 women, National Committee will have twenty members. Consequent upon the above, the constitution of the union also provides for the establishment of a Women Affairs Department especially at the National Secretariat.
However, these recommendations and provisions of the constitution were never fulfilled. However, this issue of Women Commission was re-opened at the Third Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Owerri in 2005. In his manifestoes to conference-in-session, the current president said:
Women will be especially encouraged and empowered to contest elective posts at all levels i.e. National, State and Branch levels. In order to promote gender justice and equality, Women Affairs Department will be established at the National Secretariat of the union to cater for our women members.
The Department will be responsible for organizing periodic seminars and workshops in conjunction with the Education Department to sensitize and mobilize our womenfolk of the need to participate actively in union activities.
The union will also ensure the implementation of the congress policy of allocating 30 percent of all elective offices to women at all levels.
In fulfillment of these manifestoes, on assumption of office in 2005, Women Affairs Department was established and ten-member Women Commission was also approved by the Central Working Committee at its meeting of 4 August, 2006.
The commission was charged with the coordination of all women activities and provides the needed leadership for women members. To realize the objective of training and enlightenment of our women folk, the National President in his presentation to the Governing Board of IUF in March, 2007 emphasized the need for collaboration and assistance of the world body in this respect. Thus in November, 2007 the National Coordinator of the programme and who is also a National Trustee of the union, Comrade Fidelia Azuka Nawa, was nominated by TUF and supported by the union to attend Women Seminar in South Africa. Asa follow-up to the programme, a grant of $10,000 (ten thousand dollar) has been approved for the five affiliate unions of lUF in Nigeria namely:
National Union of Hotels and Personal Services Workers
Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association
Agricultural and Allied Workers Union.
Hotel and Personal Services Senior Staff Association, and
National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees.
This grant is to be used to train and orgainse workshops for Women in the Trade
Union Movement from these five affiliates of IUF in the country. The training programme commenced on 3 September, 2009 at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan with the theme Increasing Women Participation in Trade Unions and each Union was represented by five Women Activists.
To earn the union international exposure and recognition amongst the comity of industrial unions worldwide and within the same Trade Group, the National Executive Council at its fourth plenary session at Oguta Lake Motel, in 1979 charged the national secretariat to:
Explore avenues to develop mutual and bilateral relationship between the union and any national or international trade union organizations, and to work towards the immediate establishment of a Pan-African Trade Secretariat for Hotel and Catering Employees.
In pursuant of this resolution, the union affiliated with International Union for Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Association (1UF) at the international level. One immediate benefit of this affiliation was the election of the General Secretary, Comrade T. O. Unaks as an alternate member of the African Continuation Committee at the second Regional Conference of IUF held in Harare, Zimbawe in 1982.
But due to the protracted intra-union crises which engulfed the leadership of the union for almost a decade, the relationship was severed because the union could not fulfill its obligations to the body.
One area the present leadership has recorded another landmark progress was the re-opening of our relationship with IUF in 2006. The President was invited and participated actively in the 25 IUF Congress held in Geneva in 2007. The conference afforded the union to present its charter of demands to the Governing Council. The areas of need presented to the Council include:
Training and re-training of our field officers on evolving new strategies to recruit and organize new members.
Enlightenment campaign essentially amongst our women-tolks on the need to actively participate in trade union activities.
Resources both human and material to strengthen our capacity building effort.
The IUF body responded immediately to our request in respect of enlightenment campaign for women group through the grant of $10,000.00 (ten thousand dollars) to its Nigerian affiliates as stated earlier.
The Union has also established a bilateral working relationship with the World Federation of Trade Unions with the headquarters in Athens, Greece while our application for affiliation with the Global Union UNI has also been approved. This association with all these world trade union centres has earned the Union international recognition and exposures.
RELATIONSHIP WITH CONGRESS
The Nigeria Labour Congress was formally inaugurated in 1978 with 42 affiliates including the National Union of Hotels and Personal Services Workers. At inception in 1978, the relationship between the Congress and NUHPSW was characterized by mud-slinging due to ideological differences amongst the founding fathers. Congress leadership as at then was controlled by communist oriented Comrades while NUHPSW leaders were western oriented.
The first source of conflict was in the appointment of full time officers to run congress secretariat. Although Comrades A. I. A Okwese and H. I. S Uche, who were both full-time officers of NUHPSW came first and second respectively in the interview conducted to fill the vacant post of Assistant General Secretary in charge of Industrial Relations and Productivity, none was appointed. The Congress was also accused of supporting factionalization within the union when the union was engulfed in leadership crisis.
This crisis of leadership also prevented the union from playing its expected role within the Congress especially payment of affiliation dues which is statutory, and that has robbed the union of the expected respect within the comity of industrial unions.
Having realized the unimpressive position of NUHPSW within the Congress, Comrade Leke Success stated in his manifestoes that: We will continue to support the Nigeria Labour Congress and its leadership, morally and financially at all times. So also, our administration will partake in all activities and programmes of the Congress. It is also our resolve to be seen and heard n congress activities especially in electing congress leadership.
The leadership of the union has hot wavered on this promise. Consequent upon the new found relationship, Congress assisted to picket Bolingo Hotel and Tower in Abuja and has also intervened on behalf of the union in resolving industrial disputes within the industry. The National President and General Secretary have served in various Committees or represent Congress at different fora.
A challenge facing the union in its relationship with congress is the remittance of check-off dues. The leadership has assured both Congress and members alike that, immediately the secretariat building in Abuja is completed, the next task is to offset all outstanding debts with Congress which has already commenced.
On staff welfare, the present administration has been able to match words with action. On accepting the mantle of leadership in 2005, the staff were assured of job security and satisfaction.
Furthermore, it was also the vision of the new team to:
The union has been able to stem the tide of laying workers off without getting their benefits. Examples abound. The union ensured that Worker Metropolitan Hotel both in Calabar and Uyo were settled before handed over the properties to new management. The union is also in court with the management of Awalah and Gateway Hotels for failure to follow the due process before laying off its workforce
Furthermore, the unions also have reasons to defend the management of Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri over the renewal of its contract as well as Arewa Hotel (Dev) Ltd., Kaduna in respect of Shiroro Hotel, Minna, with the government of Imo and Niger States respectively.
One major challenge that the union has continued to contend with is that of organizational drive. Organizational drive, as we all know, refers to the process of recruiting new members into the union fold as a unified group to enable them use their power of labour to win changes in their wages and working conditions. It is also a fact that, the ability of unions to bargain effectively and responsibly depends upon their organizational and membership strength. Thus, an effective and result oriented organizational drive is the foundation upon which a virile and strong union is built.
Realizing the core position of aggressive organizational drive in fulfillment of his dream for the union, Leke Success argued that:
Organizational drive should not be the sole responsibility of our State Councils in view of the limited resources-both human and financial at their disposal.
Furthermore, he posits that:
There is need to re-engineer the organization department with a view to strengthen it and spur it into full-fledge action. Our administration will also give the department the required support needed to perform because its success will also translate into additional membership strength and source of revenue to the union's purse.
This positive posture has been maintained and adhered to through the posting of quality staff and voting of needed funds for organizational drive.
Despite all these commitments, the realities on ground still fell short of expectations due to the recalcitrant posture of employers in the industry. Employers of labour in the Tourism, Catering, Security and Hospitality Industry especially indigenous proprietors have continued to resist the wave of unionization of their workforce which negates the provisions of the Nigeria Labour Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as International Labour Organization Conventions 87 and 98.
It is the opinion of the leadership that any major breakthrough recorded in organizational drive will translate into more members and by extension more funds to the coffers of the union. This achieved, accrued end of service benefits of retirees, unpaid NLC affiliation dues, purchase of vehicles for organizational use, grant of loans to deserving staff to build their personal houses or buy a car, payment of legal fees and other welfare matters of staff could be attended to promptly and with dispatch.
Currently, the union has decided to take the fight to the employers who refused unionization through dialogue, intervention of a third party which include the Nigeria Labour Congress or the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and where it fails, the union in collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress, picket such organizations.
Similarly, the constitution provided in rule 18(I) that:
The main source of funds of the union shall be monthly check-off dues, service charge, levies, donations, differential payment, proceeds from economic and social activities and any source of funds approved by the National Executive Council or the National Delegates' Conference of the union.
Of interest to us, is the payment of service charge by branches which has not enjoyed industry wide support due to the waste of the past. Since the present leadership has been able to earn the respect of the entire rank and file, a silent campaign has been initiated by the leadership through consultation and dialogue to make units especially the big hotels to have a change of mind in respect of service charge payment.
One other area the union has been striving to raise its head above murky water is that of maintaining peace and stability within its rank. This has become germane based on the experience of the past when the union was engulfed in leadership crisis which almost cost it, its Certificate of Registration. To achieve this, it has been advocated that both the leadership and followership should preach peace at all levels and fora as well as promote love through organization of seminar and staff retreat at regular intervals.
COMRADE LEKE SUCCESS