The International Labor Day celebrated annually on May 1, has left Ugandans both in the formal and informal sectors, decrying the tough working environment in which they operate to earn a living.
And they have failed to attach value to the day due to unending working challenges including poor environments and meagre payments.
Some workers believe that the emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has just made the situation worse as they note that even before the pandemic, they have always hassled to earn.
Zainah Ssesanga, an employee in an external workers recruitment organisation, says that her worry is from the employers that are failing to recognize the contribution of their employees. She says Labor Day celebrations may be having meaning for the employers but on her side, the day remains like any other ordinary day.
“It’s pretty hard for us to make sense out of this day. The effort we inject into our work stations and what we get out is so meagre,” Ssesanga said.
Ssesanga laments that some employers have failed to understand that their employees are part of the companies or organisation in which they work hence continuing to eliminate them from decision making and also under paying them.
Another worker Lillian Babirye, a marketing officer in a private organisation, says life is not comfortable as several employers have decided to use COVID-19 as an excuse to oppress their workers at a given time they want.
Shaban Mawanda, a boda boda rider in Kalerwe says Labour Day is not meant for the informal sector as many are not recognized by government and remembered during revenue collection. ‘’This day is for those people that have offices, drive posh cars, do not work on weekends, says’ Mawanda.
Herbart Ssali, a teacher says that he has celebrated Labour Day before by getting holidays but this time it had no meaning to him because he has no hope of recovering the wounds he suffered during the COVID-19 lockdown and the current environment is also not allowing.
Ivan Walugembe, a head teacher in Namasuba says that as a teacher the challenges he encounters in the profession limits his attachment to Labour Day.
Meanwhile the federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), condemned the employers who continue to abuse the rights of their workers with the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic effects.
Shaf Manafa, the head of marketing and membership FUE, says that as an organization they have developed and distributed manuals that guide all their members on how to manage the situation and make informed decisions that will not affect the employees but instead make them understand why such steps are taken.
He however put the blame of such practices on some employers who have failed to embrace the federation.
The celebrations were scientifically organized at State house, Entebbe to avoid the spread of COVID-19. The day was celebrated under the theme, “Enhancing Innovation for Increased Employment Creation and Labour Productivity: A Sustainable COVID -19 Response.”
Do you want to share a story, comment or opinion regarding this story or others, Email us at email@example.com Tel/WhatsApp........0726054858