By Lucy Anyango Ekadu.
National Union of Theatrical, Domestic and General Workers (NUTDOW) held its extraordinary elective General assembly this month at Nob View hotel, Ntinda.
The event was presided over by the Labour Commissioner at Gender, Labour and Social Development (GLSD) Ministry Mr Apollo Ozoma and National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) Chairman General Mr Usher Wilson Owere.
Delegates discussed effects of Covid-19 pandemic which adversely affected workers especially those in the informal economy and the many jobs lost.
Members called on GLSD Ministry to help exploited workers by instituting mechanisms for enforcement of the Labour laws in the country.
Participants outlined challenges encountered in the areas of mobilization, organizing and recruitment of members especially upcountry. Lack of funds for training and organising workers was noted as one of the factors responsible for low numbers in membership.
Labour Commissioner Mr Apollo Ozoma advised the newly elected leaders to be real role model and to be exemplary in their plans geared towards defending workers’ rights in the country.
“ As you take up these positions of responsibilities bear in mind that delegates have given you the mandate to serve them diligently,” he said.
Mr Ozoma said trade union leaders must enforce the labour laws, account to the people they serve and ensure they meet the demands of the members in conformity with constitutions of their unions.
Workers Member of Parliament Hon. Dr Abdulhu Byakatonda told the congress that as a legislator he would do everything possible to empower trade union leaders in bid to build human resource managers that will manage union projects.
He said it is a high time that trade unions changed the way they run their programs with new innovations, diversified income generating avenues that are aimed at self – reliance and sustainability.
The legislator said he has been encouraging trade unions to form SACCOS with his assured seed money of Ushs 1000,000/- extended to each union to bolster the members’ initiative.
“I’m giving every labour union that establishes a SACCO seed money of Ushs 1,000,000/- to bolster their initiative,” he said.
National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) Chairman General Mr Usher Wilson Owere said as a labour centre they would extend technical support required to build the union’s capacity for efficient services.
He appealed to the workers to exhibit unity and solidarity with an unremitting enthusiasm that will encourage upcoming members to join and defend themselves from exploitation.
“You must always foster unity and solidarity with an unremitting enthusiasm that will encourage upcoming workers to join and defend themselves from exploitation,” he said.
He said: “Currently we are tackling climate change and the plight of migrant workers which have become key issues on the global Labour fraternity,” he said.
Union Chairperson Ms Biryeri Zauja and “Permanent” General Secretary Mr Ezra Kanyana thanked delegates for the trust put in them and promised efficiency in service delivery.
Ms Biryeri Zauja was elected Chairperson, Mr Adam Bicha Maulid Vice Chairperson, Mr Ezra Kanyana was re-elected “Permanent” General Secretary, Ms Gladys Mutesi , Deputy General Secretary, Mr Edga Agaba , National Treasurer, Ms Salama Namgoma Deputy Treasurer and Mr James Walakira, Organising Secretary.
Others elected include Sulaiman Wasswa, Deputy Organising Secretary, Mr Stephen Kaccum , First Vice Chairperson (Industrial workers), Richard Namanya Second Vice Chairperson(Sports and Games), Mr Joseph Bukenya Third Vice Chairperson(Individual membership), Ms Sarah Musenero (Woman leader), Michael Baidhuse (Youth Chairperson). The Committee members are Ronald Bikumbi, Ms Hadijah Natukunda, Mr Rogers Balungi, and John Muyimba■