Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 03, 2018 (SKNIS): International Workers’ Day is observed on May 01 annually to celebrate the contribution that working men and women make to the lives of all and to the sustainable development of any nation. In light of this, Shernel James, Labour Commissioner for St. Kitts and Nevis, noted that this day is important to highlight the significance of workers to all forms of development.
“Workers are important, workers are the backbone to any economy. If you don’t have workers how will your economy prosper and thrive? And so it is a day set aside to show all that workers are important and that you need to effectively bring about whatever change necessary to ensure that workers throughout the world have decent work,” said Labour Commissioner James. “It is to ensure that they have decent pay, safe working conditions and that they are remunerated according to their skills sets, and that they have benefits that they not only can utilize for self, but it flows into the family. And so, the family prospers, the community thrives and the nation’s economy continues to grow.”
The International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with a number of entities, including but not limited to, the International Trades Union Movement, the International Workers’ Organization, the International Social Security Movement and the European Union joined together to bring awareness to workers.
Equally important was the April 28 Observance of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is an annual international awareness-raising campaign intended to focus attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and healthy culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries. It promotes safe, healthy and decent work, as well as the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.
“The World Day for Safety and Health at Work started in 2001. April 28 is the day that it is observed but before that, April 28 was a day where the International Trade Union Movement would observe for honouring persons who might have died as a result of an occupational accident or disease,” Labour Commissioner James said.
St. Kitts and Nevis first observed the ILO’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2003. Each year, the theme for World Day for Safety and Health at Work is crafted from a particular area in respect to the functions carried out by ILO. This year, the theme observed is “Generation Safety and Health”. Also this year, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work and the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) are merging in a joint campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.
According to ILO, the campaign aims to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.