Workers Need Thriving Environment to Realise Potential, Says Lagos Archbishop

0
Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins

Oluchi Chibuzor

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, has challenged the government and employers of labour to ensure their workers have the right and opportunity to develop their qualities in their professions in a conducive condition befitting human being.

This he stated was timely considering the poor welfare of most workers especially in the country.

The Catholic priest stated this at the 2019 International Worker’s Day celebration with the theme: ‘Uplifting the Worker’ held recently in Lagos and organised by the Young Christian Worker Movement (YCWM) arm of the church.

According to him, “If the government and all employers of labour really intend to uplift workers, they should ensure that all the workers have the right to work, the chance to develop their qualities and personalities in exercising their professions with equitable remuneration which would enable them and their families to lead a worthy life materially, socially, culturally and spiritually as well as
to offer assistance to
others.’’

The cleric said workers are treated with lack of dignity, paid poorly and in some cases, owed salaries for months, adding that some work in harsh and unfavourable conditions, and are used inhumanely to achieve more profit by employers.

“These acts are indeed contrary to the true meaning of work as created by God. Work must be undertaken responsibly and labour treated well.

“The economy should serve people, thus working conditions must respect the dignity and rights of workers; all workers, despite their work, are entitled to respect and dignity befitting human person.

“If the dignity of work is to be protected, basic rights to productive work, decent and fair wages, private property as well as economic initiative,” he said.

On his part, the National Chaplain of YCW, Monsignor Livinus Ukah, said the new minimum wage anchored on Value Added Tax (VAT) by the government up to 50 percent has adverse effects, adding that “if minimum wage is paid with increase in prices of goods, how would the workers enjoy their new wage?”

Also, the President of Lagos YCWM, Paul-Mary Williams, urged young people to demand from the government strong socio-economic policies for growth and a network system that would engage the youths in productive ventures.