AASU Commends International Working Class On MAY DAY
Workers, around the world, will commemorate the International Workers' Day on May 1, 2014. It was on May 1,1886 that the police at Haymarket in Chicago, United States of America (USA) fired and killed four demonstrators among the striking workers who were demanding for the establishment of eight-hour workday.
Subsequently the first congress of the Second International, meeting in Paris in 1889 for the centennial of the French Revolution, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International’s second congress in 1891.
The Chicago’ strike of 1886 was part of the constant struggle of the working class in late nineteenth century to obtain the 8-hour workday. The workers were toiling in severe conditions and for long hours in unsafe environment. Today the working conditions of workers in Western Countries have seen unparallel improvement that cannot be said about Africa.
The African continent is confronted with numerous challenges hampering the blossoming of the workers- the most energetic section of the society, the youth, is encountering a serious jobless situation and the working class performing not only in severe conditions but with low remunerations.
This situation has rendered the young Africans despaired and disillusioned. As the result they prefer to leave the shores of the continent at the peril of their lives to seek dreamed better living conditions elsewhere. Hence every day comes with its cohorts of dead young Africans in the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea.
Now is the time for African leaders to stop giving lip service but realize that the future is not rosy for our continent rather very gloomy if no serious consideration is given to matters related to the youth that constitute the majority of our population. Not only we are seating on a time bomb but our whole future is in jeopardy simply the youth represent tomorrow.
The solutions are generally known but the lack of political wills on the part of African leaders is the main stumbling blocks to achieve them. The artificial Berlin borders of 1884 must give way to a united Africa where there will be free movement of people, goods and services from one point to another without any hindrance. A politically and economically integrated Africa speaking with one voice through a strong African Union (AU) is a must in order to secure its future.
African predicaments can, also, be overcome if the wholesome adoption of external diktats and cultural values, half-hearted attitudes toward African integration and dishonesty for personal gain give way to honesty, selflessness, hard work and the promotion and protection of common African interests.
Also the unreserved commitments of our leaders to good governance and the principles of democracy in conformity with African realities are essential for the attainment of sustainable development on the continent. All these should lead to building infrastructures, strong industries, creating jobs and good working conditions.
The All Africa Students Union (AASU) wishes, on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day, to express its unflinching solidarity with the workers all over the world particularly African workers.
AASU calls on governments in the world, in particular African governments and other employers to ensure safe working conditions and reasonable remunerations for the workers.
Long live International Workers’ Day!
Long live International Solidarity!
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