Congratulations workers, it is your big day

Congratulations workers, it is your big day

Many studies have been made on the history of this day, although it is common knowledge that it was born from the struggle for better working conditions in the United States.

In Tanzania, workers co-exist with peasants as the country’s gainful employment force in which the former are engaged in various occupations in the service and industrial sector while the latter are engaged in agricultural production, hence the coinage a “Land of Peasants and Workers.

”On a number of occasions in the past, the government has used the big day to announce better working conditions, including salary increases, better employment terms and improved labour relations.The two major groups played a key role in the country’s independence struggle, rallying behind the independence movement in raising a stronger voice against colonial rule.

In fact, some of the pre-independence trade unionists, including the late Mzee Rashidi Kawawa, gave their all in the struggle against colonialism.This year’s May Day celebrations are being marked at national level in Tanga, where President Jakaya Kikwete will be the chief guest.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since last year’s celebrations.The one-year period has seen an upsurge in the prices of food and fuel, which has made life difficult for Tanzanians, especially those in the low-income category. Prices for petrol, rice, meat, maize flour and beans are not the same as they were last year, making life more difficult for a majority of the people. Inflation is still far from being tamed.

Unemployment remains of the biggest challenges to date despite commendable efforts by the government to create more jobs in addition to encouraging and empowering the people, especially the youth, to go for self-employment.

Tanzanians are marking this year’s May Day with high hopes that the government will announce measures aimed at cushioning the effects of inflation, which should include adjusting salaries and wages upwards in accordance with economic realities.

Workers need better health care, better working tools, good service schemes and by extension, better salaries and perks and security of employment. To all the workers, we say congratulations on this auspicious occasion.

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Author: EDITOR

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