NEWS COMMENTARY FOCUSES ON MAY DAY WHICH MARKS INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY OF SOLIDARITY, SIGNIFYING THE MEMORY OF PREVIOUS LEADERS OF THE LABOUR MOVEMENT WHO FOUGHT HARD TO PRESERVE THE DIGNITY OF WORKERS ALL OVER THE WORLD.
May Day marks International Workers’ Day of Solidarity, signifying the memory of previous leaders of the labour movement who fought hard to preserve the dignity of workers all over the world. The Day has been recognized as an important event celebrated worldwide to show the importance of the role of workers in productivity and economic development. The history of the labour front shows that some years ago, workers were trampled upon and treated without dignity as if they do not matter or were not relevant to economic development. As a result of the gallant fight by workers in the past, May Day now serves as a special day of dedication in memory of the heroic commanders who on May 4, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago, United States, fought to defend the dignity of workers. Here, a number of people sacrificed their lives and died to liberate workers all over the world from the dictatorial tendencies of business owners who exploited their sweat to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor workers.
All over the world, national economies have been destroyed by the COVID-19 pandemic and this has adversely affected the welfare of workers. Economic growth has been slowed down and many business activities have come to a halt. Similarly, many workers, particularly in the private sector, have been laid off while others have had their incomes slashed. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments including that of Ghana, have been working hard to resuscitate their economies and it is expected that with time, there will be significant growth in the economy to bring improvements to the welfare of workers.
This is why all workers in the country must work hard and be prepared to sacrifice to contribute to the economic growth of the country. Workers and employers, need to collaborate with each other to rebuild the economy and improve upon the welfare of people. Many business organisations have been operating below capacity with some others completely shut down. Things cannot be allowed to continue this way whether there is pandemic or not, all of us, need to hold the bull by the horn and turn round the economic fortunes of the country so as to make life better for all.
Employers and workers must come together and contribute towards rapid, national, economic recovery and help overcome the economic challenges of these days. As we celebrate May Day this year, we need to commend all hard-working workers in the country and also encourage them to continue their good works so that there will be massive improvements in the times ahead. While calling on everyone to contribute towards the revival of the economy, each of us must bear in mind, the need to strictly observe all the COVID-19 protocols to overcome the pandemic.
One essential thing needed by the country is industrial peace. It is only when there is industrial peace that government, employers and workers can dialogue and collaborate with each other to create better conditions for all. The industrial peace existing in the country today must be maintained to enhance higher productivity in the times ahead. The challenge facing workers and employers as well as government is that each member of the tripartite committee must come together to collaborate with other partners to help the economy to recover from the negative impact of COVID-19. When all things are put together in an appropriate manner, the present challenge will be overcome in the interest of all.
We salute all gallant workers of Ghana and encourage them to work hard while exercising patience to improve the image and economic development of the country so that we can lay down a good foundation for ourselves and future generations. May Day has come to stay in view of the tremendous contribution of workers to the economic fortunes of different countries. For this reason, we would need to celebrate it in a peaceful and positive way.
- Long live the gallant workers of Ghana.
- Long live the employers.
- Long live mother Ghana.
By: Dr Kofi Amponsah Bediako.