‘The World is in Your Strong Hands’, Amanda Demechi-Asagba Celebrates Nigerian Workers on Labour Day

International Workers’ Day is a day to commemorate the events of May 1,1886 (the 1886 Haymarket Riots of Chicago-  that year beginning from 1st May, there was a general strike for the eight-hour workday from the usual 12-16 hour workday).

It is observed globally to commemorate the struggles and sacrifices of the workers’ and labour’ movement as well as to mark the victories and the gains of the struggles and campaigns.

It is also an annual reminder that workers will continue to be exploited and relegated until they stand up and speak out against any and all forms of exploitation whatsoever in order to gain better working conditions, better pay, better infrastructure and better lives.

It is also believed to unite workers against capitalism. Thus for the Capitalists it is a day to emboldening worldwide working-class unity, which they must stand to  resist. According  to Peter Linebaugh, author of The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day, the ruling class frowns at having a very active labor force connected internationally, “The principle of national patriotism was used against the principle of working-class unity or trade union unity.”

But for the Labour Unions, workers welfare would have been at the absolute whims and caprices of the employers. The more United and proactive the Labour Unions, the more formidable and impactive in negotiations.


Campaigns and marching for labor rights, reading literature about Marxism and jingles, press conferences, media chats,seminars and symposiums 

The theme of May Day 2019  ‘Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement” is apposite and instructive likewise the theme for International Workers’ Memorial Day 2022 which is to ‘MAKE SAFE AND HEALTHY WORK A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT”. 

As the world remembers those who have died and suffered injury and illness  as a result of their work and struggle to emancipate workers from exploitation and victimization and also the pensioners who died as a result of being denied payment of their pensions. To these we advocate compensation for their families

It is worrisome to imagine that despite the economic downturn and inflation particularly post covid situation, rather than cushion the effects, its being exacerbating and excruciating  with herdsmen attack on farmers and farmers fleeing their farmlands, with the consequent price hike on farm products, the alarming increase on the dollar exchange rate from N380 – N598 which  affected the prices of virtually  everything, Power holding Company price hike in the midst of the absolute blackout, diesel price hike from N200 – N700 thus  causing  price hikes on practically everything, the abductions, kidnappings and general insecurity. One cannot but imagine how the Nigerian worker whose income can barely sustain his family for one or  two weeks is surviving. Hey, I salute the Nigerian Workers resilience, hardworking, will power, despite the provocations and frustrations. However, I must warn on the dangers of bottled up emotions and frustrations.

What about the jobless majority who depend on the employed? How about the aged pensioners? Can they survive on their pension with the prevailing economic situation? Are they even getting their pension as at due date?

Who cares about the non pensioned aged?

What is the fate of the many unemployed graduates? Where is the enabling environment for SMEs 

This is a clarion call for action to get involved in seeking better living and working conditions for Nigerians. It’s your right to Human Dignity, your right to life and living, your right to SAFE AND HEALTHY WORK. IT IS YOUR FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT! DO NOT COMPROMISE ON YOUR RIGHTS by resorting to sharp practices and other illegal means of survival. The consequences are fatal. The Labour of our Fathers shall never be in vain. Aluta Continua. 

O Lord, guide our leaders right! Grant the workers the grace and boldness to STAND UP for their rights to decent pay, decent living and safe and healthy work.

The engine room of a Nations economy must be well remunerated and secured with incentives to spur them to give their best to the nation. 




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