May day message

May day message

International Workers’ Day was first proclaimed by the International Congress of Socialist Parties in Europe on July 14, 1889, in Paris, France. The commemoration on May 1st, also known as Labour Day, honours the tragic Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago, USA, in 1886, where workers were striking for an eight-hour workday. The seemingly peaceful protests for better working conditions, among others, turned violent, leading to the deaths of several workers and police officers.

Though unfortunate, these workers paid the eternal price to lay the foundation for the work environment we all enjoy today- The Right to Work and The Right to Fair Compensation. The right to work empowers individuals to have the freedom to pursue employment opportunities and earn a living while the right to be compensated fairly grants workers the right to receive reasonable and equal pay for their work.

After 134 years of commemorations, we are still confronted by threats to these rights for the ECOWAS populations who battle with poverty, inadequate infrastructure, energy scarcity, and food insecurity. This is because such challenges hinder our ability to exercise the aforementioned rights which are enshrined in international frameworks, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 23) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.

At the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), we are committed to driving meaningful change by transforming ECOWAS Communities through investment in key economic sectors. However, we have also demonstrated our investment in our employees who are our greatest assets in delivering on our mandate, through competitive remuneration and continuous improvement of staff working environment.

Today, and every day, let us honour the legacy of those who came before us especially those who lost their lives campaigning for various labour causes by advocating for a future where every worker is treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. We must work together to create a West Africa where every individual has access to opportunities, resources, and a dignified life because we possess immense resilience, creativity, and determination.

Let us all contribute our best for the success of the bank, so that we can also enjoy the rewards that come with it.

Happy International Labour Day to all EBID staff and to workers around the globe!

George Agyekum Donkor, PhD, DBA

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