IndustriALL Global Union, a labour solidarity organisation with over 50 million workers in 140 countries, cutting across different sectors of the global economy, has commended the Dangote Group for creating over 24,000 jobs across the continent. Issa Aremu, Africa regional chairman of the organisation, who spoke at a network meeting organised by IndustriALL, in Lagos, however, urged Aliko Dangote, chairman of the Dangote conglomerate, to lend support to the unionisation drive of workers.
According to Aremu, Dangote Group’s effort at industrialisation of Africa can be better appreciated when viewed against the creation of over 24,000 direct jobs in different African countries. “Dangote is the only African that is re-industrialising Africa.
He stimulates growths and creates more employments for the huge population in its branches across the continent,’’ he said. Aremu observed that it was time for the Dangote Group to enter into mutual rewarding engagement with relevant unions to unionise the workers, saying that union presence was pertinent in a company to enable it function effectively and to prevent sabotage and absentees by workers.
“It is time for Dangote Group to ensure there is respect for minimum labour standard in accordance with the law by allowing workers in the company to freely belong to a union.
As partners in progress, members of the IndustriALL Global will support and cooperate with the company and ensure business-friendly unionisation. “There is need to ensure that anybody who wants to produce does not enslave a worker. We need decent work and we must show that we can complement investment,’’ Aremu said. He also called on the government to provide favourable environment for investment as well as improve development of infrastructure.
Francis Awowole-Brown, representative of Dangote Group in his response, advised the unions to always approach the group with views that would add value to the company. According to Awowole-Brown, the unions should use strategic approach to convince Dangote on the issue of unionising the workers. Douglas Adiele, general secretary, NUCFLAMPE, a participant at the meeting, highlighted challenges in unionising some of Dangote companies, saying NUCFLAMPE unionised workers in Dangote Group in Apapa and Port Harcourt until it closed and relocated to Ibese. There was also an established relationship at Obajana Cement until internal crisis disrupted the union.