It is my great honour and pleasure to deliver to you the solidarity message of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria on this International Worker’s Day 2021. For 131 years, the workers of the world and their Unions have gathered on this special day, to unite in the unriveting message that we, the workers are demanding our rightful share of our own hands’ labour. It is the day we gather all around the world, to make our demands heard for social justice and decent working conditions, for freedom from oppression and our right to organise as Unions.
For almost 45 years, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has been working in Nigeria. Since the very beginning, organised labour has been on our side through thick and thin, through difficult and joyful moments of your history. It has been a wonderful partnership with our dear friends and comrades from the NLC and TUC. It is my personal honour to spend this May Day in such a great company. As the official representation of the German Trade Union Movement, it is also my special delight to bring to you the solidarity greeting of your Comrades from Germany, the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), and all its member Unions. Be assured of their friendship and camaraderie, as you continue your struggle for social justice in Nigeria.
My dear comrades, I have not missed a May Day in more than fifteen years, but this one is most certainly a special one for me. Not only because, for the first time, I am able to enjoy the momentous day in the presence of my own World President of Trade Unions, the President of ITUC, Comrade Ayuba Waba. But also, because we, the workers of the world, are at the brunt of an unprecedented and ongoing global health crises. Therefore, I want to congratulate the Nigerian Labour Movement on its Motto for this years May Day: Covid-19, Social and Economic Crises: Challenge for Decent Jobs and People’s Welfare.
We are indeed living in times of multiple crises. The forces of unbent global capitalism have weakened our social systems, have subjugated many workers to starvation wages and harmful working conditions, have exposed our infrastructure and health care to unabated privatisation and decay. Covid-19 has not caused this current crisis, it has merely exposed the inhumane conditions capitalism has created for most of mankind. But also, more than ever, everybody can now see what we as Trade Unionists have been preaching since the inception of the Labour Movement: That global issues need global solutions. And as we are certainly living in a time of global capitalism, it is us the Global Trade Union Movement, who must challenge the global capitalists, but also our own Governments in every country to ensure that the rights of workers are upheld, that social justice, decent jobs and welfare be created and that the world after this health crisis will be a better one than before.
In this our struggle, my comrades, I assure you of FES’s unrelenting solidarity and support for the workers of Nigeria and organised labour all over the world.
Long live Nigeria Workers ! Love Live
Long live International workers solidarity