Decent Work Day: Covid-19 created crisis of low-wage, insecure jobs -NLC
By Femi Adi
In commemoration of the World Day of Decent Work , the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) ,Kaduna State Council said the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have been layered on top of a pre-existing crisis of low-wage and insecure jobs.
According to NLC , every second person has no financial buffer, no ability to save for the tough times ahead and relies on every pay cheque to survive.
The Kaduna NLC Chairman, Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman ,who stated this while marking the 13th World Day for Decent Work said without savings or a safety net, millions of people entered the pandemic with a choice between working and starving,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
He identified the sectors most at risk to include : accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retails, business and administrative activities.
He further said huge losses are expected across different income groups ,but especially in upper-middle income countries (7.0 per cent, 100 million full-time workers),which far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crises.
“The eventual increase in global unemployment during 2020 will depend substantially on future developments and policy measures. There is a initial ILO projection, of 25 million. high risk that the end-of-year figure will be significantly higher than the Nigeria’s economy is facing collapse as it largely depends on oil exports.” He added.
The Labour Chairman ,who also revealed that Nigeria’s Economy is Facing Collapse due to heavy dependence on Oil Export noted that oil markets have been on a downward trend as covid-19 had crippled demand with fuel prices falling and recording 18-year low trading at less than 22 dollars per barrel and it is expected to go lower .
” Nigeria’s economy contracted by 6.1 per cent year on year in the second quarter of this year,latest reports from Nigeria’s statistics bureau show” he said .
He further disclosed that the dip follow thirteen quarters if positive but low growth rates with a 6.1 per cent decline is also Nigeria’s steepest in the last 10 years .
“As with other economies around the world , the sharp drop in Nigeria’s GDP growth is largely down to the slowdown in economic activity after the country resorted to a lockdown back in April to curb the spread of the virus .
“In the wake of the pandemic the world Bank forecast a decline of 3-2 per cent for 2020 -a five per cent point drop from its previous projections.
Speaking on the meaning of World Decent Work Day, the Kaduna NLC Chairman said , “respects the fundamental rights of the human person as well as the rights of decent work is employment that workers in terms of conditions of work safety and remuneration. Respect for the physical and mental integrity of the worker in the exercise of his/her employment.”
He added, “Decent work also applied to both the formal and informal sector. It must address all kind of jobs, people and families.
“According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), decent work involves opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income,
security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men”.