Jonathan made that call on the occasion of the 2015 May Day celebration with the Theme: “The Working Class, Democratic Consolidation and Economic Revival: Charting the Way to National Rebirth”.
Represented by Sen. Joel Ikenya, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, the president said that a democratic environment accorded workers the right to freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
“These rights are in addition to the implementation of the provisions of the International Labour Conventions ratified by Nigeria and aimed at the humanisation of work and enhancing the quality of work life.
“I would state that over these years, and particularly under the present administration, workers have been given a voice and the government has attended to the plight of workers.
“It is worthy to note that there is a new trend being advocated by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity for a paradigm shift from adversarial to developmental industrial relations practice and trade unionism.
“I urge the labour movement to buy into this new mechanism of social dialogue and collective bargaining in realising their demands, goals and aspirations.
“This development will no doubt engender the spirit of patriotism, national consciousness, renewal, abiding natural justice and equity.
“It should be noted that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are expected to play prominent and positive roles in charting the way forward for the continued development and growth of Nigeria.”
The president further urged the trade unions to brace up to realities as no democracy would be consolidated, if the industrial relations atmosphere was in turmoil and riddled with incessant industrial actions.
He said that the theme for this year’s celebration was germane for a more positive engagement between government and Labour, “if we are to chart a positive way forward and reap the fruits of our consolidated democracy.
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