The International Workers Day celebration is a day set out to celebrate the working class. It is also called Labour Day in some climes.
It is commemorated every year on may day (may 1st), although, some countries celebrate on a different date which is significant to them, for example the United States who chose the first Monday of September. The tradition began in the late 19th century and was strengthened by the rise of trade unions.
The date was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket affair – the bombing which happened at a labour demonstration in Chicago, on May 4 1886.Workers were striking for an eight-hour day, and began their demonstrations on May 1.The bomb killed seven police officers and at least four workers, while dozens of others were wounded in the blast. The day is promoted by the labour, socialist and communist movements – as well as trade unions.
As youths, this celebration is significant to us owing to our contribution to productivity in public, private and informal sectors of the economy. Youths are the most active and vital force in any society, hence their indispensability.
According to Eurostat publication “being young in Europe today”, youth employment is a key aspect of Europe’s prosperity since young people represent an important source of skills, creativity and dynamism.
In recent times, we have seen a decline in youth labor force due to several factors ranging from education(in developed societies) to unemployment(in developing and disadvantaged societies).
Workers day celebration in addition to its remembrance is also a period for critical thinking, sincere reflection, strategic planning and trouble shooting.
We seize this opportunity to call on government to review upwards the minimum wage of workers and to create enabling environment that would promote youth involvement in the private sector and consequently create employment and rapid economic growth. The world today is ICT driven and only the youths hold the key to unlocking the golden treasures.
While celebrating your resilience, ingenuity, sacrifice and commitment, we also acknowledge your numerous legitimate struggles for better welfare, decent working ambience and other sundry issues.
We reaffirm our support for workers and wish you a peaceful and fruitful celebration.
LONG LIVE ECOWAS YOUTHS
LONG LIVE ECOWAS
SEUN O. WILLIAM
ECOWAS YOUTH COUNCIL