This year’s celebration is the kind of labour day celebration residents of Lagos are accustomed to. Several labour groups are well represented, dressed in their colourful uniforms, while music from the Nigerian Police band entertained the crowd, amidst heavy security presence.
Due to covid-19 restrictions, the Onikan Stadium, venue of this year’s May Day celebration in Lagos, wasn’t full to capacity, but it is better than last year’s, when celebrations were held in people’s living rooms.
The last stanza of the national anthem signalled the commencement of May Day speeches. Lagos state Trade Union Congress chairman, Gbenga Ekundayo, commended the governor for all he had done for the workers and then made requests on their behalf. His counterpart in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) comrade Oluwafunmilayo Sesi-Akinsanmi also came up on stage and did same.
The year 2021 hasn’t really been an exciting year Nigerian workers, as many sectors have embarked on industrial actions.
In February, the Non-Academic staff union of Universities (NASUU) went on strike, while in March, the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) threatened to embark on a warning strike.
Also in March, the NLC staged a Nationwide protest against the decentralization of the Minimum wage, and then in April, the National association of resident doctors NARD downed tools.
The Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu addressed the crowd and promised that his government will work hand in hand with all arms of labour for the smooth running of the state.
He also presented the documents for 5 hectares of land in both Ijera and Badagry areas of the state, for a housing project for labour workers.
Governor Sanwo-Olu promised that all pensioners will be paid as at when due and by this time next year, the NLC’s leadership will receive the keys to a proper secretariat in the state. The governor then stood to receive the salute from the various labour groups.
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