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The time for social dialogue is now!


EDITOR: Another May Day has come and gone, yet things remain almost the same. The leaders of the labour movement are very much divided along political lines, which ought not to be, as most of the populace of the country. Instead of writing to address the common issues affecting workers, they prefer to be subservient to politician and workers are left to fetch for themselves, not understanding the issues facing them until the harsh reality of non-payment of pensions, severance payments, holidays due and other basic workers’ rights that are entitled to them are not fulfilled.

On the other side of the equation, there are the politicians, who assume that they are the best thing to happen to the working populace. They know it all and only they can do it for the workers. Workers cannot organize, except these politicians do it for them; only they know the workers’ needs, which is not true. Thus, if you, as a worker, try to implement your God-given rights to think, you are subjected to marginalization, ostracization, victimization, abuse and attacks by party hacks and others.

The theme of Labour Day this year is “Social dialogue, the way to shaping the future of work we want”. Yet, such is lacking, as I mentioned above. The employers and the Government are urged to make social dialogue between them and social partners a key instrument for building a world of work. To quote the International Labour Organization (ILO)

director-general Ryder: “The future of work must be inspired by consideration of humanity of social justice and peace. If it is not, we are going to a dark place, we are going to a dangerous place.”

The time is now, more than ever for the labour movement to organize and be counted. It is time that they be recognized as an equal partner and be given the respect and responsibility they deserve. And if they are not given what is due to them, then they should rise up and demand it. There is too much at stake for social dialogue not to take place between the Government and social partners. The issues facing us are diverse for such dialogue not to be on-going.

The future of work and better understanding of the drivers of unprecedented change, which include technological innovation, the organization of work and production, globalization, climate change, social welfare, pension reform, migration, aging population and demography, among other things, are up for dialogue with all parties concerned.

Man on the Go