Workers' Day

Workers' Day Quick Facts - NG

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2024 Date1 May 2024
2025 Date1 May 2025

International Workers Day

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Workers' Day History

International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day or May Day celebrates the achievements and contributions of workers around the world. It aims to promote and encourage the rights and welfare of workers, ensuring better working conditions, fair wages, and social protection. The observance also seeks to create awareness about the significance of trade unions and their role in improving labour standards globally.

While the origins of International Workers' Day can be traced back to the 19th-century labour union movement in the United States, its relevance to Nigeria cannot be overstated. The country has a large and industrious workforce that contributes immensely to its economic growth and development. Since gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria has witnessed several labour movements and negotiations aimed at bettering the working conditions for its citizens. International Workers' Day serves as an opportunity for Nigerian workers to reflect on past struggles and advocate for their rights and interests, particularly in a competitive global economy.

International Workers' Day is observed annually on May 1st, recognized as a public holiday across the nation. The observance is marked by various activities, including marches, rallies, and seminars organized by trade unions, workers' groups, and other stakeholders. These events bring together workers from various sectors and backgrounds to share experiences, discuss pertinent labour issues, and chart a course for improved working conditions in the country. Through these collective actions, Nigerian workers continue to uphold the spirit of solidarity, unity, and progress epitomized by International Workers' Day.

Workers' Day Facts

  • According to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2023, there were 32 million workers in the UK. in 2022, there were estimated to be over 3.3 billion workers worldwide.
  • According to Trading Economics, in 2023, the unemployment rate was 4.3%. .02% more compared to 2022’s unemployment rate.
  • An estimated 80% of Nigerian workers lack social protection and job security, making it difficult to advocate for their rights and fair treatment.
  • Nigeria's current minimum wage is set at NGN 30,000 per month ($77.79). However, this may not be sufficient for workers to afford basic needs, and many have demanded an increase in the minimum wage to provide a better standard of living.

Workers' Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Read The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd.
  • Some towns and villages host traditional May Day celebrations that might include Morris dancing, maypole dancing, and crowning a May King and Queen.
  • Oxford University holds a unique May Day tradition where crowds gather beneath the Magdalen College tower to listen to the college choir sing at dawn.
  • Enjoy some traditional Nigerian food like Jollof Rice, Fufu, Egusi soup, Suya or Akara.
  • Nigeria is known for its landmark places. You can visit Aso Rock in Abuja, Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Zuma Rock in Niger State, or the beautiful beaches in Lagos.

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