By Akwashiki M. Abiola
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday urged government and employers of Labour to extend decent work provisions and protection to migrant workers through social dialogue.
President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba who made this known during 2019 Decent Work World Day with the theme ‘Invest in the care economy ‘ said trade unions should organise migrant workers to deepen the power of the working class.
Represented by the Vice president of the congress, Comrade Benjamin Anthony, Wabba said Labour is tired of seen workers being exposed to worsening health and safety situations with increase cases of deaths and injuries at work.
According to him, “majority of migrants are in precarious jobs that are unstable and insecure, and which offer them limited or no rights, protections and benefits. We, therefore, urge governments and employers to extend decent work provisions and protection to migrant workers through social dialogue. We also call on trade unions to organize migrant workers to deepen the power of the working class.
“For other categories of workers, the challenges of indecent work are no less daunting. We know that in this era of neo-liberal globalization, capitalism rules the World but even if capitalism must rule, it must rule responsibly. Capitalism must show CARE!
“We are tired of a world where workers are exposed to worsening health and safety Situations with increased cases of deaths and injuries at work. We reject a world of work”.
Speaking on the theme of the occasion, the labour leader said Investment in care economy means prioritizing investment in extended social protection to women, extended leave for care of children, secured parental leave for both gender and change in work arrangement to allow workers to achieve the critical balance between work and family.
“In practical terms, it means creating opportunity for work that is socially productive and economically rewarding. It means that we do not just put the care of children and the elderly in the hands of women who constitute the majority of the workforce in the sector without adequate reward and the necessary supporting structures and facilities.
“At the heart of Investment in the Care Economy is empathy for a shared humanity..lt is a philosophy which central argument is “you cannot leave anyone behind”. Unfortunately, today’s 21st century economy has left many people behind. As earlier noted, it has left women behind. Increasingly, as we all can attest, it is leaving migrant workers behind”.
The workers in marking the occasion, also match through the streets of Abuja to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) where a complaint letter was handed down to the Minister Mohammed Bello to address the issue of indecent work in Federal Medical Centre Jabi.