Each one of us wakes up in the morning and immediately needs the services of a worker in one way or other. It might be the house-help who has to make breakfast, the receptionist transferring calls to you or even the mechanic who fixes your car.
Some of those who offer us services are not appreciated. Do we ever stop to think that maybe the woman/man bringing us tea or coffee in the office each day might just be in need of a thank you?
This is what makes May 1 an important day for workers across the board, and this year we celebrate under the theme; “Social dialogue and Decent work for fair globalization.”
We know the adverse impact of globalization on our economies; not only do finished imported products undermine our local products, the low price of our raw materials on the global market will also influence the local job market.
At a national level, on this day we celebrate our collective input as workers into the economy, being the engine that keeps that machinery going.
It is also a day that our value as a working people is recognized and reaffirmed. It took years of workers struggles for this to be possible.
From years of working in factories, on farms, in homes as cheap hired labour to attaining the right to bargain for fair wages and proper working conditions.
These rights have come with new value systems that abhor, primitive practices such as child labour. However, workers cannot do it alone without the partnership of the employers, who are mainly the government and the private sector.
It is important for the three arms through tripartite forums, to engage in dialogue aimed at improving workers lot. Such forums and partnerships by the three key stakeholders should agree on issues to do with, remuneration, working conditions, among others.