By Daniel EMERIBE
Itâ€™s May Day, so what do workers want?Â Saturday Vanguard reporter went to town to talk to workers .Â They have a bag of demands .Â They asked forÂ pay raise,Â decent jobs to pension issues, enforcement of workers rights etc.
Mr.Musa Yahaya,Â Â Estate manager What does May day mean to you?
Well, IÂ think May Day is a day set aside by the government in celebration of workersÂ across the federation. It is a day of rest for all workers, it is a day when the government says, you workers have tried, just rest for today.
What are your expectations from the government concerning workers day?
I expect the government to look into issues challenging the Nigerian workers especially in Lagos, issues such as salaries, transportation, workers retirement benefits, loans for workersÂ and so on. Youâ€™ll find out these days that transportation in Lagos is so expensive. We virtually spend 60% of our salaries on transportation alone, so I want the government to increase the salaries of workers so as to meet up with the high rise in prices of commodities thereby reducing the unnecessary stress NigerianÂ workers go through every day.
Ms Lilian Ukpai, Accountant
What does May Day mean to you? It is a day of rest for workers. It is a dayÂ when workers stay at home andÂ relax from the normal work stress they go through every day.
As a worker what would be your wish for MayÂ Day?
Well, for May Day,Â IÂ wish that all workers take time out to enjoy them selves with their familiesÂ because it is a once -in- a -year opportunity, holidays donâ€™t come every day especially for those like me who are extremely busy and hardly spend time with their families.
Mrs. Gloria Udoh,Â a Civil Servant.
What does MayÂ Day mean to you? It is a day that has been declared a public holiday in commemoration ofÂ the Nigerian workers for their efforts. May Day is called workers day.Â It is a day when every worker is supposedÂ to put their work to rest and spend time with their family and friends.
As a worker,Â Â whatÂ are your expectations for May Day?
IÂ Â expect all workers to use this opportunity to addressÂ what ever issues that might be bordering them. Issues of welfare packages for workers, salary increment. Because the way things are going now transportation alone takes almost all the money we earn yet we still have other needs to meet and I think it is time for workers every where to meet and say enough is enough to this unnecessary hardship that we have been subjected to.
To me, there is really nothing to celebrate. What are we celebrating? When we work and there is nothing to show for it,Â the prices of commodities in the market keep increasing yet the price for labour remains stagnant. My wish for May Day isÂ salary increment and all other workers welfare packages to be address by the Federal and State Government.
Mr. Leonard Emeka , Business Man
My expectation for May Day is that the government should pay more attention to the needs andÂ plight ofÂ the Nigerian workers. It is hard to believe that this country is going to be fiftyÂ years soon. To me there is really nothing to celebrate because almost everything in this country is not working. We have poor infrastructural development, epileptic power supply, no water, no good road, then tell me what is there to celebrate.
The government should go back to their drawing board and do something fast before everything crumbles. Goodluck Jonathan should do something that will keep him in the minds ofÂ Nigerian workers for ever. Now is his chance to change Nigeria even ifÂ he has a short time to perform.
Mr. Ojo Abayomi, Quantity surveyor.
WhatÂ does May Day mean to you? I just know that May Day is workers day.
As a worker what are you expectations for May Day? What I expect is that workers should look for more remuneration from whoeverÂ their employer might be or look atÂ their own conditions of service. I also want the government to look at the condition of workers in the country.
Mr. Adeosun Solomon, Architect
May Day to meÂ Â meansÂ a dayÂ when workers spend time at home with their family. Itâ€™s a public holiday and my expectation is thatÂ workers should use this time to reflect on their basic needs as workers and make them known to their employee and they should try as much as possible to work out their differences with their employers.
Miss. Faith Obasi ,Â Teacher
May Day is just like any other day there is absolutely nothing to celebrate.Â It seems serving this country is a curse.Â Can you imagine thatÂ doctors are on strike people have not been paid their pension, workers are not being paid well and so on, tell me then what are we celebrating? Are we celebrating failure? Power outage? Bad roads or insecurity?
Tell me. It is up to the government to do something fast becauseÂ workers especially teachersÂ are not being treated fairly.
Sunmbo Olasore,Â Nurse
I think MayDay isÂ a work free day for all workers across the federation. It is a day every worker should look forward to since we have mothers day, fathers day, even malariaÂ also has a day. I think they call itÂ world malaria day or so, so workers day also fallen into this category . It is a dayÂ when workers are celebrated.
My wish for May DayÂ would be for workers and their employers to relate with one another, may be have a party or something… days like this should drawÂ workers and their employers closer .ForÂ me, I think I would rather spent MayDay at home with my family and friends.