May Day: Group calls for defence of rights, dignity of workers
CITIZENS COMPASS – AS Nigerians join the globe to celebrate Worker’s Day on Monday, a trade union group, Precision Electrical and Related Equipment Senior Staff Association (PERESSA), has called on members to defend rights and dignity of Nigeria workers.
The group gave the submission, yesterday, in a statement signed by Comrade Rufus Olusesan, National President, PERESSA.
He called on workees to prepare for struggles to defend their rights and win decent conditions for the working and poor masses of Nigeria
The statement partly reads, ” Precision , Electrical and Related Equipment Senior Staff Association (PERESSA) joins workers in Nigeria and across the world in celebrating this year’s May Day, which is also known as International Workers’ Day. May Day, which dates back to the 1880s and was created as a result of the global struggle of workers for regular working hours, is even more significant today as we better understand the value of solidarity. This day also provides a special opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of workers and to demand greater rights and protections for every single worker.
” As a trade union that has been involved in the struggles to advance the interest of her members and other workers and the Nigerian masses, we recognize the power and potential of workers’ unions, and we say this is the time for unions to take more prominent place at the forefront of the struggle for workers’ rights.
” On this day, we remember the many sacrifices that have been made and that many continue to make to secure the rights of everyone who labour. We remember that it has taken rigorous struggles to win the rights that we enjoy today. Workers have struggled for better working conditions, pay, and protections since the early labor movement’s battles for the eight-hour workday to the current battles for collective bargaining, decent working conditions and workplace safety.
” We note that the rights and dignity of workers are currently in danger on national and international levels. Workers’ well-being is seriously threatened by the ever-increasing casualization of workers, and growing privatization of basic services like healthcare, and education, and the dismantling of labor laws, and the growing concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few people.
” It is important to reflect on the current crises facing our society and the impact it has on the working class. The poor implementation of the currency redesign and cashless policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has had a devastating impact on our economy, undermining small businesses, affecting workers’ salaries and purchasing power, and making it difficult for many to meet basic needs.
” We are concerned about the violence and voter suppression that characterized the last general elections, and this for us further reflects the bankruptcy of bourgeois politics and the desperation of the capitalists class to continue to hold on to power by any means possible in their quest to continue to appropriate to themselves the collective wealth of the country and oppress the working people.
” The emergence of the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other capitalist political parties at the last general elections means a continuation and consolidation of anti-people policies. So, workers have to be on the alert in the coming period to resist these imminent attacks. The planned fuel subsidy removal and other anti-poor, anti-people policies that Buhari government or the incoming Tinubu administration are likely to unleash in the coming period will further worsen the already dire situation of workers in our country.
” As members of PERESSA and as trade unionists and working people, we must stand together in solidarity and fight against any policies that seek to erode our rights and threaten our wellbeing. We also want to remind the government that our members will not watch passively while anti-poor and anti-worker policies are unleashed on the workers and poor masses of our country. Rather we will organize and fight back through peaceful protests and strikes until we win.
” For us in PERESSA, Nigeria is too rich and endowed for the working people and the youth to continue to wallow in the state of abject poverty, unemployment, homelessness, insecurity and destitution that is prevailing at the moment. This is why side-by-side with our mandate to defend our members’ workplace rights, we are prepared to collaborate with all democratic, progressive, Socialist, pro-worker and pro-people forces to fight for a new, democratic and egalitarian Nigeria free of oppression, repression and inequality.
” On this May Day, let us renew our commitment to the struggle for a better future for ourselves, our families, and all workers. We stand in solidarity with workers across the globe and reiterate our belief in the power of collective action to bring about positive change.” said Olusesan.
PERESSA is an Affiliate of Trade Union Congress (TUC).