Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has charged the labour movement to see itself as a constructive partner of the government in ensuring peace and harmony in the society before, during, and after the conduct of the forthcoming general elections in 2019.
The governor made this remark on Tuesday in his keynote address, with the theme: ‘Labour Movement in National Development: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win’, delivered during the 2018 May Day celebration to workers and members of the organised labour at the Agege Stadium.
According to him, the labour movement should not only enquire after what workers could get from the government, but also what workers could further contribute to support the government in making a difference in the lives of the people.
“Ladies and gentlemen, and distinguished comrades, the theme of this year Workers’ Day celebration, “Labour Movement in National Development: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win”, is not only apt but also timely.
As our nation now moves towards another election year, it is imperative for the labour movement to see itself as a constructive partner of the government in ensuring peace and harmony in our society before, during, and after the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
“Furthermore, the labour movement should not only enquire after what workers can get from the government, but also what workers can further contribute to support the government in making a difference in the lives of the people.
“There will always be a place for agitations and struggle and it is a fact that only those who dare struggle may win. Yet, these agitations and struggles must be focused on realistic and reasonable goals that are pursued in the appreciation of the competing interests that government has to continually balance,” Ambode said.
He noted that government had continued to partner with the leaders of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and that as a responsible government; it would continue to consider all the requests of Labour as both parties intend to work together for the peace, progress and prosperity of all workers in Lagos, all Lagosians and the state in general.
“In the light of the foregoing, I urge the organised labour to continue to show understanding while rightly insisting on the due and just entitlements of their members.
I also call on all the stakeholders in the management of our economy to redouble their efforts and continue to explore innovative means of addressing the economic challenges in our nation in order to make life easier and more comfortable for the Nigerian workers who are the development and growth partners of the government.
“Today’s event marks the third anniversary of our government’s celebration of Workers day in the state. I can say with all confidence that our chief development and growth partners, since May 29, 2015 have been the hardworking, understanding and cooperative workers in both the Public and Private sectors of the state.
“It is on record that we have never, since the inception of this administration, had any dispute with the organised labour and I will be the first to admit that the Labour Unions in Lagos State have been most responsible and while, at the same time, being dogged in their advocacy for the promotion of the interests of workers in Lagos State, both in the public and private sector groups.
“You will note that I have referred to workers in Lagos State as my development and growth partners. I make this statement deliberately as our administration has recently embarked on a drive to promote the ‘Growth Mind-set’ campaign and initiative throughout the Lagos State Public Service.
I therefore call on all of you to support this campaign as it will result in the exponential growth and productivity of our public service,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Lagos State Council, Comrade Idowu Adelakun, charged all workers not to relent in their march towards national development and emancipation. He said the toil and sweat of workers are the ingredients of national economy.
Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lagos State Council Chairman, Comrade Ogunremi Francis Omoniyi, was of the opinion that the theme of this year’s event became necessary because the economy of the nation needed to be seriously looked into, and braced up for the challenges ahead.