A section of Ugandans say government is lagging behind when it comes to addressing the numerous challenges faced by Ugandan workers as the country celebrate Labor Day.
Some of the workers interviewed by this publication said there is no point to go on holiday and sleep on an empty stomach, saying there is nothing to celebrate.
The International Worker’s Day or Labor Day is commemorated in celebrations of all workers and their efforts world over. This year’s theme is “Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement.” The national celebrations are ongoing in Sembabule district under the theme “Promoting Public Spirit in the Public Sector.”
This publication found Isaac Irumba, a shoe shiner going about his work normally. Irumba told our reporter that some of the workers don’t care about Labor Day because there is nothing really to celebrate.
Godfrey Byansi, another city resident, says government has failed to address the unfair work policies in many institutions, inequality, segregation and poor pay. He faults government for threatening to fire whoever pushes for a pay rise and better working conditions.
“When you look at the last time doctors and University lecturers went on strike, government told them that they would recruit new workers instead of sitting to negotiate with them. So Government needs to be considerate when it comes to the welfare of workers,” Byansi said.
Irene Nakkide, a vendor in Kampala says several unemployed youths have joined the vending business, but continue suffering at the hands of government. She wants government to take deliberate steps to organise vendors, saying there is nothing Government can do to help them.
Janet Kikobye, a shop attendant in Kampala, says government has imposed a lot of taxes on goods and services. She says the continuous imposition of taxes on basic needs is what is killing workers.
“Not at all, they get a lot of money for us, inform of taxes and inform of rent, everything is just high in Kampala, they disturb us a lot, and I know these are because of high prices,” she said.
Justine Kiwewa, a youth says those who have capacity to celebrate Labor Day should do. He however, says some people, see it worthwhile to just work so harder even on that day.