AS Nigerian workers join their counterparts in other parts of the world to celebrate May Day today, they have been asked to demand improved welfare.
Labour leaders preparing for the celebration told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Nigerians would no longer tolerate any unpopular policy of the government.
The National President, Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), Mr. Yemisi Bamgbose, said that labour had curtailed the excesses of the ruling class.
He said that Nigerians had every reason to celebrate, in spite of endless exploitation of national resources by politicians.
“Nigerian workers have kept hope alive by their selfless service, despite poor remuneration.
“For remaining intact in spite of daunting realities and looking at what is happening to workers globally calls for celebration,” Bamgbose said.
The National President, the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) Staff Union, Mr. Elias Kazzah said that many Nigerians were jobless.
“Many qualified Nigerians are without jobs, so, what are we celebrating, jobless youths or what?
“Those, who have jobs have every reason to celebrate,” Kazzah said.
The National President, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Mrs. Ladi Iliya said that no matter the challenge, workers must keep hope alive
“Today, we remember those that were there before us, we must strive to uphold what they fought for. This is the only celebration that unites us globally,’’ she said.
The theme for this year’s May Day is, “100 years of Nationhood, Challenges of National Development’’.
Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, is a celebration of the international labour and left-wing movements.
It is commonly celebrated with a match past by workers and their labour unions in Nigeria and most parts of the world yearly on May 1.
Meanwhile, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State says Nigerian workers are “veritable soldiers” in the quest for the socio-economic transformation of the country.
The governor’s view was expressed yesterday in Ilorin in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, ahead of today’s Labour Day celebration.
While praising the workers, the governor noted that no society desirous of economic development could toy with the welfare of its labour force.
‘’Historically, the Nigerian worker has over the years of our national history experienced a lot of travails but patriotically and largely remained committed and vital to national economic development,’’ the statement quoted Ahmed as saying.
Ahmed urged stakeholders in the labour sector to use the occasion of the Labour Day to reflect critically on the travails of Nigerian workers in order to guarantee them a better future.
The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to the promotion of workers’ welfare, noting that training and retraining of workers would be regular.
He said his administration had been implementing a small and medium scale entrepreneurship loan scheme in order to widen the net of employment generation opportunities in the state.
Ahmed stated that this was in fulfillment of his administration’s cardinal principle of shared prosperity which places emphasis on capacity building of the people.
JD:I think its more a function of workers asking for a more purposeful leadership from the NLC.Its AMAZING THAT THE NLC HAS BNOT BEEN ANBLE TO NEGOTIATE BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS FOR NIGERIAN WORKERS.THE NLC IN ITS NEGOTIATIONS FOR WORKERS MINIMUM WAGE HAS TURNED A BLIND EYE TO THEIR HUMONGOUS TAKE HOME PAY OF THE EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAl ASSEMBLY.IT IS DIFFICULT TO CONVINCE ME THAT WE DON’T HAVE SOME FORM OF CONSPIRACY GOING ON HERE.I SUSPECT THE LEADERSHIP IS SOLD OUT ON THE WORKERS LIGHT AND WELFARE