KAMPALA —Celebrations to mark International Labour Day on May 1 have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Frank Tumwebaze has announced.
International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day or May Day, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement which occurs every year on May Day.
“I am writing to notify all workers and fellow citizens that due to the social disruptions caused by the COVID19 pandemic and in pursuit of the national coronavirus prevention guidelines in place, Ministry of Labour will not organise International labour day celebrations on 1st May 2020, earlier planned to take place in Mbarara,” Mr. Tumwebaze wrote.
He said that just as all social gatherings were prohibited, Labour day celebrations too can’t continue.
“We request for understanding of the situation from our clients the workers and their respective leaders,” Minister Tumwebaze noted.
He noted that Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the leaders of workers working together with Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and Uganda Media Center shall arrange to have key messages of the day to be communicated via mass and digital media.
The day has come at time when a total of 81% of the global workforce of 3.3 billion people have had their workplace fully or partly closed.
Restrictions on daily life have led to the closure of many companies and the laying off of staff – either permanently or temporarily.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, has been looking at the global impact.
Their work shows the global scale of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The outbreak is expected to wipe out 6.7% of working hours across the world during the second quarter of 2020.
That is the equivalent of 195 million full-time workers losing their jobs.
The worst-hit region is predicted to be the Arab states, with an 8.1% decline in working hours (five million full-time workers).
The ILO says it is “the most severe crisis” since World War Two.