The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has said that apart from the humungous health fatalities of which most of the affected are workers, more than 400 million jobs have been lost to the pandemic around the world.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, stated this in an address on the occasion of the 2020 World Decent Work Day in Abuja, the Nigeria’s Capital.
Wabba also said that hundreds of millions of livelihoods sustained by the informal sector have been wiped off, deepening an already broken narrative of vulnerability and despondency among workers who earn their living on day to day basis.
He asserted that the novel Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed the inadequacies of the current flawed economic model of globalization occasioned by wealth accumulation and lack of social justice.
According to NLC boss, “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant risks to economies and societies are very palpable. Already the fatality cases occasioned by Covid-19 has grossed about one million, forty-two thousand, three hundred and ninety-eight (1042398) deaths”
“The infection rate all over the world as at on the 6th October 2020, stands at thirty-five million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, five hundred and eighteen persons. With the world medical and health research community still grappling with the development of effective therapy and vaccine for Covid-19, there is no telling when the storm of this evil pandemic will be over” he said.
Speaking on the New Social Contract that guarantees Decent Work, Wabba said the, NLC has called for the universal right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, provisions for safe workplaces in tandem with global best practices, equality and inclusion especially through equal economic participation of women, all racial groups, migrant workers and young workers among others.
NLC President further stated that the universal right would guarantee the protection of vulnerable segments of the workforce, harassment and violence in line with Convention 190 of the International Labour Organization, ILO.
“Workers and Trade Unions around the world are commemorating this year’s World Decent Work Day with the theme: “A New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience”, in the midst of the devastating effect of the novel Covid-19 on jobs, health and economies of the world.
“What we have is today! And today is World Decent Work Day. This gives us the ample opportunity to speak to the issues and workplace challenges that have been thrown up by the Covid-19 crisis and the other social dislocations that preceded the pandemic.
“Comrades, in order to withstand further shocks from the resurgence of fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 and or other health and socio-economic dislocations, we must design a recovery plan that rebuilds the social contract between government and societies and hoisted on the foundations of resilience.
“To achieve this, we must ensure that Decent Work is at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people and the planet first” Wabba said.
NLC boss however, called on the Nigerian government and governments around the world to put in place recovery and resilience plans which prioritize jobs, secured employment, workplace rights, income protection, minimum living wages, occupational safety and health, and universal social protection, especially basic income for workers in the informal sector, the sick, the elderly and for those without employment.