Each year on May 1, people across the globe take to the streets to commemorate International Workers’ Day, or May Day. In Nigeria, May Day is an official holiday, and for labour unions it is particularly important – the day commemorates past labour struggles, rights violations, and poor conditions of work.
Speaking in Asaba the Delta State capital during the May Day, Comrade Bolum Nwachukwu, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Trade Union (TUC) says the day also affords the Nigeria labour unions more broad opportunity to boost communication and cooperation between labor organizations to benefit the workforce.
Nwachukwu said: “We reiterate our commitment to protecting workers and their rights in Delta State by presenting proposals and initiatives that help address gray areas.
“We stress the importance of fostering social dialogue with the government and private sectors, to achieve optimal performance and results that balance the interests of all parties and prioritize the national interest. This approach contributes to the development and prosperity of our country economy.”
As Chairman of TUC, he said he would continue to strengthen communication among members of labour organization, discuss challenges, and encourage the development of positive initiatives designed to benefit all workers, promote a labor culture showcasing the success of Nigerian workers.
He promised to continue to highlight best practices for workers in Delta State as means to achieve goals, balancing the interests of workers and their employers, and stable labour relations.
Nwachukwue explained that he planned to addressed effective ways in which emerging technologies can be leveraged to overcome challenges of workers and realize aspirations; the challenges facing workers in business environments; and ways to raise awareness about the rights of women in the workplace.
Throughout his life of work and service, Comrade Nwachukwu has empowered thousands to stand together for their rights and led TUC in Delta State toward a more equitable and just society. His visionary leadership inspired a powerful movement that burns brightly to this day, rallying people from all walks of life to champion the dignity of work.
Comrade Nwachukwu’s hard-won strides for social justice reflect on the work that lies ahead to build a brighter future for all our communities.
“Let us carry on his timeless legacy by lifting up our neighbours, speaking out against injustice, and working together to extend the dream of prosperity, equity and progress to all.
It’s a moment for reflection and celebration of what the labour movement has done for Nigeria”, he said.
He called on the State governor-elect and political leadership to move expeditiously to address workers’ welfare as thus far done by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa; continue to unite the State and swiftly enact the reforms needed for onwards economic transformation of the State.
He said the TUC believes the incoming governor will consistently, advocate for transparency and accountability, put the interests of Deltans first, move towards national unity, and implement critical economic reforms, chief among them those required to secure cordial working relationship with workers in the State.
He said that political leaders must not put their personal interests and ambitions above the interests of their State and the people.
Meanwhile in a joined statement delivered by the Chairman Delta State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Goodluck Ofobruku and his counterpart at the State Trade Union Congress, Comrade Bolum Nwachukwu expressed happiness with the State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the delivery of infrastructure and human capital development.
The duo stated during the Workers Day celebration that the large turn-out of workers at the event clearly showed that they were happy with the government which they demonstrated by dedicating this year’s celebration to reflect on the performance of the outgoing Governor, Senator Dr ifeanyi Okowa and eagerly looking forward to the inauguration of the incoming Governor Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori come May 29.
The labour union chairmen noted that workers in the state had been very supportive of the government and deserved to be celebrated, pointing out that while they had no serious issues with the outgoing administration, the workers were expecting improved welfare from the incoming administration to spur them to contribute more to the development of the state.
They called on workers in the state to remain committed and dedicated to the implementation of the policies and programmes of the political class in the overall interest of the state, promising that the Oganized labour in the state would continue to explore collective bargaining in pushing for enhanced welfare of workers.
Some of the positive achievements of the outgoing Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa highlighted included: Robust relationship with the Organized Labour which some other states were not privileged to experience; regular and prompt payment of workers salaries even when the economy of the state were in the intensive care unit, courtesy of the action of the avenging Avengers on the Oil installations; payment of promotion arrears from 2015 to 2018 in response to the plea by Labour Leaders; implementation of the New Minimum Wage as far back as November 2019 while some states in South-South are yet to commence; The construction of International Standard Secretariat which Organized Labour refer to as a sign of Okowa’s value for workers; The simultaneous establishment of three (3) State-owned Universities which has reduced the agony of the teaming youths of Delta State while seeking admission into Higher Institutions; Establishment and construction of new Secondary School and Technical Colleges in Delta State is another notable display of value for Deltans; Roads to many villages and streets in many towns experienced the touch of your SMART AGENDA and Deltans in various divides are smiling as a result of Accessible roads.Others include:, Increase in monthly fund disbursement to Bureau for State and Local Government Pensions to enable them pay Pensioners; Approval of payment of outstanding Promotion arrears from 2019 to date which is being processed; Implementation of the recent Extension of Retirement age and Service year from 60 to 65 years and 35 to 40 years respectively for Teachers; Your administration graciously employed 65 workers in Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS), about 6000 Teachers were employed to teach in Secondary School and Technical Colleges; Job Creation ventures through YAGEP and RYSA pulled more than 5000 Deltans out of the unemployment crowd as a result of free training and provision of starter parks to function in employed status in different trades; The theme for this year’s May Day celebration is Workers Rights and Socio-Economic Justice.