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Decent work, decent workplace


Editor: Another Workers’ Day is upon us. What have we done to make us more aware as workers? Who really is a worker? Of what importance is a worker?

The definition of a worker from the Oxford Dictionary states “A worker is one who labours or exchanges his service for a return or reward (payment) or in the insect world of ants, bees, termites etc being the engine of the colony. That is, the survival of the economy depends on the productivity of workers.{{more}}

In the human world it is no different. The biggest assets of any business, organization or country economy are the workers; yet workers continue to be treated with scant regard. Despite the numerous advancements that have been made, workers’ rights are still being ignored. The basic tenets of workers are still being ignored.

The right to decent work is ignored; no washrooms, lunch breaks, no sick benefit, time off, and workers are severed without benefit in some workplaces.

The condition and treatment of workers from those in authority leave a lot to be desired, especially among women and unskilled workers, yet without these workers; the businesses cannot survive. So, those who are taken for granted and looked upon as insignificant are the most important assets.

In my study for my diploma in labour relationship and negotiation at George Meany Labour College, Maryland, USA. My professor told me an unhappy worker is an unproductive worker and whatever is affecting that worker, be it domestic, physical, personal or whatever, unless that matter is addressed in an amicable way, productivity can never be at its best. Workers in this country need to know their rights as workers. Workers need to organize themselves. From the domestic, store clerk, gardener, grounds man, watchmen, security to the highly skilled educated engineer, accountant, and managers. Remember you all have one thing in common, you are all workers and you all are subjected to some aspect of labour laws, once you are not working with yourself.

Treating workers with respect, decency and appreciation, being just truthful, honest, being inclusive and transparency goes a long way to advance the work place and workers’ participation and the end result is highly motivated workers and greater productivity.

So on this Workers’ Day, let us all remember that we are all workers and we must treat one another with respect and be honest and truthful to one another and, as the good book says, “do unto others as you will like to be done unto you.”

Man on De go