By: Afolabi Oyekunle.
Forty five years of existence of a Union is worth celebrating giving the facts that despite the challenges and odds, it continues to wax stronger and achieving great tasks. This could be attributed to the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) which celebrated it’s 45years in a unique way with the gathering of her members and Employers at the Airport Hotel in Ikeja, capital of Lagos state.
The Union came into existence after House unions were restructured into industrial unions. Prior to this restructuring, three prominent and registered unions of Senior Staff were in existence. Flour Mills of Nigeria Senior Staff Association, Nigeria Breweries Management Staff Association and Management Association of Guinness Nigeria Limited.
Upon restructuring the house unions fused together to form the nucleus of the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association and received its certificate of registration under the Trade Unions (Amendment) Act No:22 of 1978.
Since its formation 45years ago, the Union has taken giant strides, ensuring the welfare of its members, built a modern headquarters of its own, built hostels and embark on great strides.
This made the union leaders under the National President Jimoh Oyibo to celebrate the existence of the union in great stride. The union gathered people who have been key to its success at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja and honoured them with awards and celebrate them.
Among those honoured were a one time President of the Association, Chief Dele Olowogorioye, and a formidable past Secretary, Barrister Sola Iji, who was a great figure in nurturing this Association to where it is today.
Also Employers of Labour in the sector were not forgotten, including The Managing Director of Intercontinental Distillers Engineer Patrick Anegbe.
Awards were given to Nestle Nigeria Plc, PROMASDO, Nigeria Breweries, Nigeria Bottling Company and Intercontinental Distiller. Also awarded is Seway Water Company among others.
Key Speakers at the occasion were also honoured, including Comrade Owei Lakemfa.
Speaking to CityExpressNews, FOBTOB National President, Comrade Jimoh Oyibo said the awards were to appreciate all their contributions towards the growth of the union.
Speaking at the occasion, Comrade Sola Iji recalled with nostalgia that the union has come a long way towards the present achievements.
Discussants in a symposium which included Chief Dele Olowogorioye, a one time President of the Association, Mr. Chinedum Okereke, Managing Director Lacasera Company Plc, Mrs. Laanumi Ogunmade Industrial Relations Manager, Cadbury Nigeria Plc agreed that to foster industrial relations, dialogue is the key word and not demonstration, picketing or strike by workers.
They said there must be room for dialogue between employers, workers and unions.
National President FOBTOB, Comrade Jimoh Oyibo said the union is for the progress of all companies in the sector and believes in dialogue before any action.
He said the union only embark on industrial action when Management are adamant in resolving issues in amicable way.