AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY COUNCILLOR DIGHAMBONG ANTHONY MVO,
LORD MAYOR OF THE WUM COUNCIL, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 128th INTERNATIONAL LABOUR DAY, TODAY 1ST MAY 2014
AT THE WUM GRAND STAND.
- THE SENIOR DIVISIONAL OFFICER FOR MENCHUM DIVISION,
- THE D.O OF WUM, FUNGOM, FURU AWA AND MENCHUM VALLEY SUB DIVISIONS,
- THE LORD MAYOR OF ZHOA, FURU AWA AND BENAKUMA COUNCILS,
- THE SENATOR FOR MENCHUM DIVISION,
- THE HON MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR MENCHUM SOUTH AND NORTH CONTITUENCIES,
- THE PRESIDENT OF THE HIGH COURT AND LEARNED STATE COUNSEL,
- THE DIVISIONAL DELEGATE OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY,
- DIVISIONAL DELEGATES AND SERVICE HEADS,
- THE MENCHUM DIVISIONAL PRESIDENT OF TRADE UNIONS,
- POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES,
- THE FON OF AGHEM, FONS AND ARDOS,
- EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES,
- DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;
It is indeed an honour and privilege for me to address the populace of Menchum Division in general and the employers and employees in particular, on the occasion of this great international day of the workers. On behalf of the entire Wum Municipality and my humble self, you are all welcomed.
The International Labour Day began in the United States of America some one hundred and twenty eight years ago. The deteriorating working conditions suffered by workers in America was the cause of the workers uprising against their employers. This created international awareness on the plight of workers, and the subsequent institution of the international Labour Day by the United Nations Organization. It is a day for dialogue and concertation between the Employers’ Associations and Trade Union syndicates. In short, every May 1st usually marks a beginning, as well as an end in the lives of workers and employers. To work and earn remuneration is a civic and natural right which must be exercised in a decent and conducive working environment, void of risk and insecurity at the work site.
The Senior Divisional Officer, employers and employees, ladies and gentlemen;
The team of this year’s celebration is “Cameroonian workers… together, let us fight against AIDS”. This team is very apt and succinct in our contemporary society of today which is bedeviled by the scourge of HIV and AIDS. Our young economy requires a strong Labour force to enable Cameroon attain emergence by 2035. A healthy working population will lead to economic growth, economic growth will lead to economic development and economic development will lead to employment and employment will lead to better living conditions. With these, the multiplier effect will be felt in every household. On the other hand, imagine a working population made up of youths sufferingfrom HIV and AIDS, what will be the economic consequences? Your guess is as good as mine. Government and her international partners have therefore, put in place mechanisms aimed at combating the fight against this disease. Some of these are, the institution of the international day for the fight against HIV and AIDS and the free acquisition of Anti-retroviral drugs. It is in this light that I call especially on you the Menchum youths to bear in mind that, the development of this Division rest in your hands. Avoid at all course unprotected sex by the use of condoms where we cannot do without.
The Senior Divisional Officer, employers, ladies and gentlemen;
The Anti-Apartheid icon Nelson Mandela in his book, long work to freedom wrote “In my struggle against Apartheid, I climbed many mountains, and when I thought I was on the last mountain, I discovered that, many mountains were still ahead of me”. From this anecdote of Mandela, the fight for the improvement of the working conditions of workers is a continuous one. Poor salaries and non respect of the minimum wage, abusive dismissals, late payment of salaries and the non registration of workers with the National Social Insurance Fund are still some of the panoply of problems faced by workers of this Division. Pope Sixtus V once said “show me a woman whose husband does not complain and I will immediately canonize her”. It is true that some workers are punished by their employers because they complain. It is even more true that as Human Beings we are bound to complain. People complain because they have problems and they want solutions to these problems. The leader of the Civil Rights movement in America, Martin Lurther King Junior said “Human problems are created by man and they can only be resolved by man” I however, enjoin all the workers to always present problems and complains through peaceful means to the competent authorities. After all, dialogue has remained the best and only method of settling Labour disputes. Violence and civil disobedience can never and will never be the best solution to conflicts between employers and employees.
Dear workers, ladies and gentlemen;
Let me also remind you that in so far as you have rights, you should not also forget your obligations and responsibilities towards your employers. Lateness to work, unjustified absences, insubordination, idling at job site are some of the vitiating factors that may compromise the cordial relationship between employers and employees. We must have the zeal and be happy always whenever we carry out our responsibilities. Do not fear problems or struggles, most often that is the way up. If you run from battles, you run from the experience. Always remember that mad and rough seas make sailors. Nelson Mandela told his audience one day: “I know what will kill me, and that is to wake-up any day without work to do. That would kill me! And because I have got a daily programme, I feel as I felt at 50, because to look forward to something you are going to do daily with zeal is a life clincher”. Laziness or procrastination blocks the anointing for favour. Let me share what should stir your spirit, soul and body into extra diligence written by a great man in 1928. “for more than 25 years, I have carefully studied men with the objective of knowing why some achieve noteworthy success, while others with just as much ability do not get ahead; it seems significant that every person whom I have observed with noteworthy success, has put in more service than that for which he was paid, compared to those who merely performed sufficient services to, get by”.
The Senior Divisional Officer, ladies and gentlemen;
May this Labour Day remind each of us in our own sphere, our commitment towards intensifying the fight against child labour and child trafficking, slavery and prostitution which are some forms of force Labour. Let our joy for today be complete by applying daily the law of put and take which states that “Perform and render more and better services than that for which you are paid”.
While wishing you all a glorious celebration, let us remember that there is no joy in receiving, only in giving.
Long live the Wum Municipality
Long live the International Labour Day
Long the Ministry of Labour and Social Security
Long live Cameroon.