Hon Byakatonda calls for workers’ empowerment 

By Our Reporter.

Ugandan trade union leaders have been called upon to diversify mid -term and long term development programs in bid to counter unforeseen challenges encountered in their work.

The development follows the massive adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged the world but with the critical effects having been inflicted on the developing countries like Uganda.

But due to lack of proper planning, lack of reliable and inconsistencies in income generating ventures workers in Uganda who suffered the Covid-19 effects will take a long time to recover.

Workers Member of Parliament Hon. Dr.  Abdulhu Byakatonda told the Workers Eye in an interview that Trade union leaders should now diversify their income generating programs in bid to overcome stringent economic setbacks.

He said as a workers legislator he would ensure he provides advice, technical support and financial assistance to trade unions that is aimed at serving as “seed capital” for workers long term development programs.

“ I shall ensure  I provide technical support and financial assistance to trade unions to serve as “seed capital” for workers long term development programs,” he said..

The legislator said he plans to tap into the national structure Parish Development Model (PDM) network to link it with workers activities in the parishes as part of the empowerment programs.

 He said: “  I intend  to draw work plans  with Labour unions with view to identifying priority areas that can generate reliable and steady  results for workers’ economic empowerment.

Hon Byakatonda said as he advocates for equal work for equal pay  he would ensure  efforts are well modeled into the cash economy with main focus being improving household incomes, engage in manufacturing and value addition exports.

He said:” I already donated sewing machines and financial support for women leaders in both National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) and Central Organization of Free Trade Unions (COFTU).

The workers representative in the Parliament said currently he has embarked on cashew nut growing on intensive farming that targets the export market with value additions.

“ We must aim at involving workers in the  lucrative products and adding value in our finished products like the cashew nuts so that we reap big from foreign exchange,” he said.

Hon Byakatonda advised workers to spread awareness messages to the local populace on need to protect the environment by planting more trees while preserving existing ones.

He said when he got elected he embarked on some immediate deliverable items on his manifesto which included providing transport for organizing and recruitment, empowering trade union leaders  and building labour unions’ capacities.

“After elections I embarked on my manifesto priority areas like providing transport for organizing and recruitment, empowering trade union leaders and building  labour unions’ capacities,” he said.

The legislator said he asked labour unions in the country to establish SACCOs for workers where he provides the initial seed money of Ushs 1,000,000/- geared towards building a reliable and financial sustainability.

He said:” I appeal to Labour unions  to open up SACCOS and to get seed money from me as  startup”■

Workers Member of Paarliament Hon Abdulhu Byakatonda

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