From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A call has been made for a Pan- African Labour Summit by the Africa Union (AU) to discuss the present state and future of work in the wake of devastating impact on the continent’s labour market occasioned by COVID: 19 pandemic.
The Vice President (Africa) of Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu made the call in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday.
The statement which is to mark 2020 Decent Work Day on October 7th, Aremu said the Covid-19 pandemic has further made few available jobs in Africa unsecured-and precarious, through mass redundancies and pay cuts .
He explained that October 7 every year is Decent Work Day declared by the International Labour Organization, ILO to promote global awareness against Precarious Work and the need for Decent work.
Decent work according to him means productive, rewarding and protected work which must guarantee minimum and living wages for the workers, wages that are also paid as at when and due.
Aremu said COVID:19 had disrupted the global economies in ways inconceivable the impact of which had negatively affected lives, jobs and incomes in Africa.
The lockdowns, meant to control the spread of the coronavirus, that were introduced in most countries – whether partial or complete, he sad had caused havoc in most Sub Saharan African countries.
According to the labour leader, in addition to “unprecedented global public health crisis” with Covid-19 in most industries, working hours were reduced as some workers reported for work for a few hours and were partly paid.
“The brunt was worse on precarious workers employed on short-term contracts, with low wages and terrible working conditions. Most precarious workers were retrenched with no benefits. In some cases, workers have not been paid for months.”