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CSN urges government, private sector to respect workers’ rights

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Laments Nigerians’ working conditions
The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has admonished Federal Government and private sector to promote dignity of labour by respecting the basic rights of workers to “productive work, decent and fair wages, private property and economic initiative.”

At the send-off organised for Otunba Jide Vincent Fadugba-Pinheiro, a veteran journalist who worked with the secretariat for 18 years, National Director of Social Communications, Rev Fr. Mike Umoh, said the working situation in the country was worrisome and left much to be desired.

According to him, the willpower to enforce the laws that protect the rights of the workers is weak, while application of the laws tilts more in favour of the rich and the strong.

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Umoh lamented that some employers of labour, in their desperation for profit, treat their workers as objects, subject them to dehumanising working conditions and owe them for months.

The cleric, who condemned the policies that make working for a just and decent living almost impossible, urged the government to urgently address the “distorted and dysfunctional” working conditions of workers in the country.

“We need to question why the general psyche to work in our country is so poor and retrogressive. We must challenge the prevalent narrative in our country where people work hard while young, but in retirement, find nothing to fall back on because of unjust policies that rob them of their hard earned savings and entitlements.

“We must rise to condemn a system that allows the aged stand, collapse and die while on endless queues under rain and sun in the name of document verification.

It is simple logic that a society that does not take care of its retired workers cannot guarantee the loyalty of the younger.

“We rise to condemn a system that encourages unproductivity and laziness and gives more power and control to those who do not work, but squeezes those who work to depression and death,” the priest said.

Umoh noted that Fadugba-Pinheiro contributed immensely to the success of communications in the Catholic Church. He said the CSN would continue to informally tap from his wealth of experience.

Fr Mike Banjo described the celebrant as a respectful and veteran communication expert.

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