Nigeria’s Aremu elected to executive council of new global workers’ Union

Comrade Issa Aremu of Nigeria has been elected into the Executive Council of the newly formed 50 million member-trade union movement named IndustriALL.

IndustriaLL, is a new Global union Federation (GUF) that represents all manufacturing workers in the world. It is a new merger federation of three hitherto workers’ federations in mines and metal, textile and garment as well as chemical manufacturing sectors world-wide. The historic merger conference of the three federations, namely International Chemical, Energy and Mines Workers Federation (ICEM), International Textile Garment and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF) and International Metal Workers Federation (IMF) and the inaugural conference of the new Global Union Federation took place on Tuesday June 19th  2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Comrade  Aremu is the General Secretary of National Union of Textile and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN), affiliate private sector union of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).  He is also Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). With his election by 1400 delegates drawn from over 1,200 affiliate unions of IndustriaLL in 140 countries, Comrade Issa Aremu together with five other elected executives from South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania represent over one million African manufacturing workers in the new global union Federation (IndustriaLL).

In his widely acclaimed speech, Comrade Issa Aremu observed that more than ever before, industrialization is a total commitment for Africa.

He added that manufacturing and value addition is the only engine of growth and exit route out of underdevelopment and poverty. He regretted that wholesale liberalization of trade, lowering of tariff, dumping of imported goods uncritically imposed on Africa by multilateral institutions like WTO and World Bank had led to wholesale collapse of industries and de-industrialization of the continent which in turn had promoted mass unemployment, deskilling and swelling the ranks of urban terrorism as in case of Nigeria.  He urged the new global union federation, IndustriaLL to add its global voice to a campaign for urgent re-industrialization of the African continent. Africa, he said, needs some selective and strategic industrial policies that must protect its domestic industries, enhance local content where the continent has comparative advantages of resource endowment and labour absorption. The prompt bail out of the collapsed money and capital markets by global governments in recent times shows that government has business in business of revival of closed manufacturing industries through industry’s friendly sensitive and protective policies, he added.

Aremu brings to IndustriaLL his over two decades of activist experience in organizing, collective bargaining, grievance handling, representation and policy advocacy. 1985 second class Upper graduate of Economics from University of Port Harcourt, Comrade Issa Aremu started his graduate’s studies at School of Basic Studies of ABU Zaria in 1977/78. He attended international Institute of Social Studies (ISS) The Hague Netherlands in 1990-1991 where he had distinction in Master degree in Labour and Development studies. He is a member of National Institute (Mni). He attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) Kuru Jos (mni) course 27 in 2005.  He has held varying positions in scores of labour market institutions that include, National Administrative Council (NAC), Central Working Committee (CWC) and National Executive Council (NEC) of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Boards of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies (MINILS) Ilorin, Labour Transport Corporation and First Guarantee Pension Fund.

He served in Various Tri-partite Committees set up by the Federal government namely;Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Committee (PPPRC),Member of Governing Council, Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Kwara State, 2001- 2004,NLC Member of Governing Council, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), 2004 till 2007,National Labour Advisory Committee (NLAC),Presidential Committee on the Revival of Textile and Garment Industry, 2002,Member of Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, 2000 and 2009-2010,Member, Kaduna State Government Special Committee on the Revival of Textiles and Cotton industries, July 2007 – 2008 and Chairman, Interim Management Committee First Guarantee Trust Fund.

Aremu has a number of publications to his credit including:Defining the Context of Workers’ Education and Capacity Building for Trade Unions in Nigeria (2007),Tears Not Enough (2005),Collapse of Textile Industry in Nigeria: Implications for Employment  and Poverty Eradication (2005) ;The Crises of Pricing Petroleum Products in Nigeria (2001) and and The Social Relevance of Trade Unionism (2001)

He is a recipient of labour and industrial awards including Bank of Industry (BOI) for policy advocacy award of 2011. He took over as the General Secretary of the Textile Union from Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the current governor of Edo State.



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