President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called on the new government led by President-elect Bola Tinubu to continue to respect workers’ rights.
He said it was necessary to respect the four pillars of decent work, namely promoting jobs and businesses, ensuring rights in the workplace, expanding social protection, and promoting social dialogue.
According to him, all the pillars are to find consensus and maintain a solid national industrial relations system.
Buhari, who was represented by Federal Government Minister Boss Mustapha, was speaking at the Workers’ Day celebration at Eagle Square, Abuja, the venue for the celebration.
He said the elements of decent work are consistent with a commitment to reducing poverty and paving the way for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development, and ultimately, peace and security in communities. The President said,
“The government affirms the need to celebrate decent work, which sums up people’s aspirations for their professional lives; for productive work, fair income with social security and protection, a guarantee of basic rights, equal opportunity and treatment, prospects for personal development and recognition and one’s voice is heard.
“These elements of decent work align with our commitment to reducing poverty and charting a road map for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development, and ultimately peace and security in our communities.
“Worker rights together with socioeconomic justice make for a happy workplace. We, therefore, agree that a fair economic structure aims to create opportunities for all to succeed regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, age, disability, creed, religion, etc. is an essential condition for progress and development.
“Once again, it is Workers’ Day popularly and globally known as May Day. It is a day set aside for the celebration of workers and their immeasurable contribution to the wealth of nations. The day has its root in the historical struggles to gain the attribute of dignity in labour. It came with a price of heroes past commemorated in the world of work to remind us that labour as a tool of production has been a “voice” and that “voice” has to be heard in our quest for sustainable development and economic growth.”
Speaking further, he said:
“With the help of these Institutions, a conglomeration of rights and principles pertaining to workers’ rights have been enunciated and some of those rights have been identified as fundamental and as such have been entrenched as a yardstick for compliance amongst nations in terms of workers’ right violations or promotion.
“I regard the theme for this year’s celebration as apropos considering that this marks my last attendance at the nation’s May Day’s celebration in my capacity as the President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces. We have gone through the trios of negotiations and collective bargaining mechanisms utilising the Instrument of social dialogue and like in any other human relationships, sometimes we disagree to agree or agree to disagree but always progressively seeking a consensus for a better society and economic growth.”