Celebrating May Day amid COVID-19; Ayekoo to all workers!

The coronavirus pandemic is not only dealing a devastating blow to mankind at this point in time, but also modifying our lives in many different ways.

From our social life, education, religion, health care among others, COVID-19 has forced everyone to adapt to what is now termed the new normal so that we can get through life as if everything is normal

One of such modification of our lives took place yesterday when across the world, May Day, also known as Labour Day or International Workers’ Day was celebrated without the usual fanfare at public gatherings and street marches as well as demonstrations in honour of the working class of the world.

The day was rather marked in many countries virtually in a special way: digitally via the internet, social media and live broadcast on TV and radio.

Such a modified approach to life has become familiar during the COVID-19 predicament, with some working from home, and with schools engaging students in their home rather than in schools.

Many of the new ways of doing things is also attributable to the observation of social distancing which is very crucial in the fight against the deadly disease.

But critically too, is that, this years’ celebration is being marked amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has threatened to put thousands of workers and labourers out of job due to economic concerns.

Ironically, the day was instituted to commemorate the contribution of workers and the historic labour movement in building the world that we live in today.

Historically, the day is celebrated to venerate the happenings of May 4, 1886, the Haymarket Massacre in the Chicago where workers were demonstrating leading to the death of four of them.

The sacrifice of these workers led to the declaration of eight-hours as the legal time for the workers in the National Convention at Chicago in 1884 by the American Federation of Labour.

To commemorate the second international event, a pan-national organisation of socialist and communist political parties, marked May 1 as the Labour Day in 1891 and today, over 90 countries, across the world, celebrate the day as a national holiday.

In Ghana, the day was marked virtually with the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo applauding workers for their contributions towards nation-building as Ghana joined the rest of the world to celebrate May Day on May 1, 2020.

“We recognise and appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they have made towards the construction of the happy and prosperous Ghana we seek, and, on this day, I say Ayekoo to each one of you,” the President said in his May Day message to all workers.

He referred to COVID-19, which is affecting all nations of the world and said “as government and social partners, it is our collective will to chart our own course out of the pandemic onto a path of sustained growth, progress, and prosperity”.

On the occasion of a restrained 2020 May Day, we join the President and the entire country to thank those workers involved in maintaining and providing everyday essential services required by society during the COVID-19 pandemic which has ensured unity, stability and peace in the country.

We hope that employers and employees would in this challenging period show even greater understanding and support for each other, as the entire country strives to turn a crisis into an opportunity for progress.

Once again, we salute all workers for working hard to develop our country.

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