Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day, But Millions of Workers Are Unhappy Today


Caption: Street demonstration during Labor Day
Photographer: Maillard, J.
Country: San Francisco, US
Date taken: 1987
Copyright: ILO


Nigerian oil workers are on strike as we mark the May Day and they are not the only workers who are unhappy all over the world today.
The Punch of Nigeria is asking if there is any hope for Nigerian workers?
Yes, there is hope as long as the Nigerian workers join hands together to demand their rights to better wages, better working conditions and secure their future in the nation building of a New Nigeria for the common good of all Nigerians.

Let us focus on the plight of the poor majority of wage earners who are being exploited and underpaid by their ruthless employers and contractors.

If you are one of the employers of labour, please put yourself in the worn and torn shoes of your workers and ask yourself, if you have not been cheating and exploiting them?

How would you feel if your were in their condition?
Pay a visit to the homes of your office cleaners or factory attendants and see if you can use their toilets and bathrooms and if you can live in the same condition and be happy.

Many employers of labour are not differnt from the task masters and slave masters of the slave trade era, because they are treating their employees like slaves.
The most abused and misused workers are in the developing countries, from Nigeria to India and other poor nations. Workers have little or no welfare benefits in most workplaces, except in the government offices and big corporations. The most exploited workers are casual workers who can be hired and fired by their employers without any query.

The trials and tribulations of poor workers have made headlines, but in most places, they are still suffering and dying daily in inhuman working conditions.
The human rights bodies must address the emergencies of millions of poor workers and not only concerned about political issues. Millions of workers have suffered more injustice than political activists and prisoners of conscience.
Fighting for human rights is more than protesting against political violations of civil liberties. The rights of workers should be on the list of our first priority, because workers are the wheels of human progress. The human rights bodies should join forces with the rank and file of labour unions to improve the working conditions of poor workers in accordance with the constitution of the International Labour Organizaton (ILO).

God bless all those who appreciate the dignity of labour, and respect the integrity of honest and transparent workers on earth.

Have a safe May Day.

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