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PREPARATIONS TOWARDS 2019 OTUWA CONGRESS: OUTSTANDING MATTERS

PREPARATIONS TOWARDS 2019 OTUWA CONGRESS: OUTSTANDING MATTERS

I bring you fraternal greetings from the OTUWA Secretariat in Abuja.

As you are aware, the Congress of our organisation is expected to come up in the last quarter of 2019, as the revival Congress held in October 2015. Consultation is on-going within the Executive Committee leadership on when to convene the General Council meeting that will take a formal decision on the dates and venue for the next Congress of OTUWA.

  1. Survey on Funding Requirement for OTUWA Secretariat

The Secretariat has been grasping with a number of challenges in our quest to carry out the mandate of the last Congress to fully revive and reposition our organisation. Among the recent measures taken to address some of the challenges include commissioning of a Survey on Requirements for Running a Full-fledged OTUWA Secretariat in Abuja.

We have extracted key conclusions and recommendations of this exercise and attached to this memo.

One of the core issues addressed by the survey is funding by OTUWA affiliates. We extracted the list of OTUWA affiliates’ membership and affiliation dues calculated on the basis of ITUC–Brussels’ membership list given by affiliates as at June 2017. On the basis of the present affiliation fees computation, the total revenue will be $27,000 annually, if affiliates pay in full. Currently, very few affiliates have paid affiliation dues thus far.

Our hope is that as we prepare for Congress, affiliates who have not paid any affiliation fees in four years or have paid part, will have to check their total indebtedness and pay up between now and June 2019 to enable us to start preparation in earnest for the congress.

In addition, there are issues raised in the conclusions/recommendations, which the General Council would hopefully deliberate on and make recommendations for the forthcoming congress.

  1. Constitution of the Women and Youth Committees of OTUWA

One of the outstanding tasks from the last congress is the composition of the Youth and Women Committees of OTUWA. We have made efforts to raise fund and combine the inauguration of the two standing committees with programmes, which would have brought the bulk of delegates to the women and the youths conferences for the purpose of their composition. We have so far been unsuccessful in this respect.

The leadership will in due course decide on the modality for convening of the two committees, and accordingly notify each country, so that where there are more than two national centres in a country, each country will decide which centres will be nominated for the women conference and which will be nominated for the youth conference. We are still trying new efforts to source for funding for the two activities. In the event we are unable to source the funding, then the national centres that will participate in the two inaugural activities will have to fund the participation of their delegates.

  1. OTUWA Website

We have almost finalised the construction of an OTUWA Website. We however wish to request each affiliate of OTUWA to send to the secretariat a brief resume of their organisation based on the following: organisation’s history, membership base/structure, current national officers, official national address, official telephones, email address(es), postal address(es) and any other information. National Centres with websites should also provide us with links, so that we can link them up with the OTUWA website. The brief write-up per organisation should be no more than 3-5 pages maximum.

  1. Individual Letters Requesting for Payment of Outstanding Check-off Dues to OTUWA

Accompanying this general circular is an individual letter to each of the OTUWA affiliates to pay up the accumulated affiliation dues on the basis of the annual computation attached in the survey. In the individual letters, the details of OTUWA domiciliary account for the payment are enclosed.

  1. OTUWA Constitution (English and French versions)

We are also sending the English and French versions of the OTUWA Constitution approved during the last Congress. Before the next congress, we will endeavour to finalise a Portuguese translation for our Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau comrades.

We look forward to hearing from affiliates, and especially to respond to the latest request for payment of affiliation dues.

Yours fraternally;

John E. Odah

Executive Secretary

Latest News

President, Organisation of Trade Unions in West Africa (OTUWA), Comrade Mademba Sock, has described as unacceptable the inability of governments in the sub region to adequately feed their population.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of OTUWA Working group on communication, Sock raised alarm over rising cases of poverty and hunger among workers and people of the west African sub region.

“We have focused attention on the theme of hunger and food security to underscore the fact that it is an important area in the lives of our members that we have, over the years, paid little attention to.
“A significant percentage of our members’ monthly budget is on food for the family. The inability of our respective governments in the sub region to adequately feed their population cannot obviously be a thing of joy for us as unions, he said.”

Speaking further, the union leader welcome the on-going efforts by unions to interrogate the root causes of the current state of food insecurity in the sub region.
In his remarks, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, described as sad the fact that four decades after the formation of ECOWAS in 1975, it cannot feed the citizens of the economic community

Comrade Wabba, however, blamed poor policy choices as well as policy inconsistencies for the inability of the ECOWAS sub region to achieve food sufficiency and security for the huge population of the sub region.
According to him, “our agricultural production methods have stagnated and hardly benefited from inputs of modern science and technology development.

It is my hope that the meeting will address the causes of these retardation in our agricultural policies in the sub region and clearly outline the roles that we can, as trade unions play, to change the situation in the interest of millions of poor working families in our Sub region.”
He urged trade unions in the sub region to invest in the campaign to ensure that incidences of people going to bed habitually hungry as a result of insufficient food on their table, must become things of the past in the region.

Cotonou: Constitutive/First Meeting of the Economic Governance Working Group

Cotonou: Constitutive/First Meeting of the Economic Governance Working Group: The meeting took place in Cotonou, capital of Benin Republic, on 5th December 2016 with participants from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Benin, the host. The meeting, while deliberating on its mandate of making OTUWA and important prop for harnessing and mobilising the energies of workers and their organisations in influencing policy dialogue at the sub-regional and other levels to realize governance mechanisms, processes and outcomes that have positive implications for the working people, identified a number of issues relevant to combating food insecurity and hunger in West Africa, in particular and Africa in general.

OTUWA decries rising poverty, hunger among workers

President, Organisation of Trade Unions in West Africa (OTUWA), Comrade Mademba Sock, has described as unacceptable the inability of governments in the sub region to adequately feed their population.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of OTUWA Working group on communication, Sock raised alarm over rising cases of poverty and hunger among workers and people of the west African sub region.

“We have focused attention on the theme of hunger and food security to underscore the fact that it is an important area in the lives of our members that we have, over the years, paid little attention to.
“A significant percentage of our members’ monthly budget is on food for the family. The inability of our respective governments in the sub region to adequately feed their population cannot obviously be a thing of joy for us as unions, he said.”

Speaking further, the union leader welcome the on-going efforts by unions to interrogate the root causes of the current state of food insecurity in the sub region.
In his remarks, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, described as sad the fact that four decades after the formation of ECOWAS in 1975, it cannot feed the citizens of the economic community

Comrade Wabba, however, blamed poor policy choices as well as policy inconsistencies for the inability of the ECOWAS sub region to achieve food sufficiency and security for the huge population of the sub region.
According to him, “our agricultural production methods have stagnated and hardly benefited from inputs of modern science and technology development.

It is my hope that the meeting will address the causes of these retardation in our agricultural policies in the sub region and clearly outline the roles that we can, as trade unions play, to change the situation in the interest of millions of poor working families in our Sub region.”
He urged trade unions in the sub region to invest in the campaign to ensure that incidences of people going to bed habitually hungry as a result of insufficient food on their table, must become things of the past in the region.

NLC, OTUWA oppose Morocco’s membership of ECOWAS

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa (OTUWA) have condemned attempts by Morocco to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Speaking at the opening of session of OTUWA’s rebuilding and consolidation workshop in Abuja, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, argued that there was nowhere in the ECOWAS treaty where non-West African state could become a member of the regional body.

His words: “There are reports that Morocco has applied to become a member of ECOWAS. For us in the NLC, we do not know where in the treaty establishing the organisation either in its original form in 1975, or the subsequent amendments that we can find a clause permitting a non-West African state to become a member of the organisation.

Abuja: Constitutive/First Meeting of the Working Group on Communication

Abuja: Constitutive/First Meeting of the Working Group on Communication: The meeting, which was held in Abuja on February 17, 2017, generally discussed strategies and mechanisms of utilising information/communication to popularise policies and mobilise workers for the implementation of policies across the sub-region. Among key strategies identified for implementation were; (i) the need to begin the publication of a newsletter, (ii) the designing and activation of an OTUWA website; and (iii) the need to immediately activate social media platforms such as whatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc.