Every 1st of May since 1981, Workers’ Day has been commemorated to celebrate workers in every trade and profession.
The labour movement has progressed over the decades with enactments of employment laws, which protect the rights of workers, adherence to international labour treaties and conventions, and the founding of the National Industrial Court. While much headway has been achieved, we have a long way to go as a nation. Many workers still languish in dire work conditions without access to vital amenities. Unfair contract terms and poor working conditions in the private and public sectors prevail. Even the key enactment, the Labour Act, remains insufficient and does not extend its protection to all skilled and unskilled workers. Further, shortcomings in the labour sector have led to extensive work emigration to other nations with better labour climes, costing Nigeria its best and brightest.
As we commemorate another workers’ day today, we invite every employer, law maker and public official to put the welfare of workers at the fore of their mandate because our work is vital to nation-building.
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