In solidarity with the International Labour Day, the National Social Security and Insurance Trust- NASSIT joined the Ministry Labour Employment and Social Security and other institutions in the country to observe the 2019 May-Day celebrations. The occasion which was climaxed with statements and award to key personalities in the country commenced with a march-past on the principal streets of Freetown. The staff of NASSIT in their official colours paraded from Country tree to the Youth Building displaying banners, and flyers that have NASSIT related messages and reciting NASSIT related songs and jingles and distributing NASSIT broachers and Newsletter to participants and the general public.
The chairman of the occasion; Lawyer Francis Garbidon in his statement enumerated the significance of the ceremony and the value of workers union. The Lawyer went on to state that it is very necessary for the workers of Sierra Leone and the Labour Union to join the Global Community in celebrating the International Labour Day, commonly known as May Day. He recalled the history and process that culminated in the recognition of the May-day as a national event.
In his keynote address, His Excellency the Vice President Mr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh expressed his gratitude to the President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress for adopting a tradition of honouring H.E the President with the opportunity to deliver the keynote address on such a prominent occasion. He apologised for the absence of the President as not deliberate but due to other urgent state matters.
The Vice President hastened to respond to issues raised by the President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, updated the gathering on the activities and plans of Government. He reaffirmed Government’s commitment to ensuring that the livelihood of every Sierra Leoneans in improved through the creation of a platform for private sector growth, provision of social services, free and quality education and better condition of service for both private and public sector employees.
On the question of political stability, the Vice President allied the fears of the public that Sierra Leone is politically unstable as alleged by the President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress. He said the truth is that the SLPP won the elections and is ruling and implementing its policies for the good of the country.
The Vice President used the occasion to call on Sierra Leoneans to respect law and order and support the Government’ agenda in the New Direction.
Concluding, the Vice President acknowledged that the May Day Celebration is designed to celebrate the hard work of workers; their selfless and indefatigable contribution to the nation.
On his part, the President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Mr Jennings Wright expressed thanks and appreciation to the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maida Bio for his relentless support to the Sierra Leone Labour Congress and for being magnanimous towards the current job evaluation and the establishment of the wages and compensation commission for fair pay and equal work done in the public service.
He further commended government for the increment made to the Government pension amount from an appalling Le 15,000.00 to a minimum of Le 250,000.00.
He called on the government to consider increment in the pension of those who were receiving Le 250,000.00 to ensure equity in his stride.
The Minister of Labour and Social Security Mr Adekulay King commended His Excellency the President for his enduring service to our beloved nation. He said the theme of this year's celebration “Uniting workers for empowerment and social and economic development” fully resonates with the President agenda to place importance on a merit-based remuneration of the work system to all employees in the country.
The Minister disclosed that the New Direction government is committed to working closely with the International Labour Organization (ILO). He said for 26 years past governments have not been honouring her obligations in the payment of dues to the ILO, the New Direction Government has settled all the arrears.
To the workers, the Minister admonished them to inculcate the values of integrity, fairness and self-discipline. He assured them that the President believes in them and as the chief public servant himself truly recognises their invaluable contribution to the country.