NATIONAL Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has, in its low key May 1, 2020 is our Workers Day celebration called for reflection among the union members asking what portends their future as the physical workspace becomes virtual due to the change in the dynamics of human adaptation.
National President of NUATE, Comrade Ben Nnabue, who posed this question in his address, noted that the 2020 May Day celebration is overshadowed by the rampant, ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and efforts worldwide to contain, control and defeat the virus.
He also stated that the celebration is further diminished by the dark clouds of job insecurity and instability of income hanging over the heads of all workers, especially in the aviation industry.
Comrade Nnabue said,“The 2020 May Day celebration is, however, overshadowed by the rampant, ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and efforts worldwide to contain, control and defeat the virus. The celebration is further dampened by the dark clouds of job insecurity and hyper instability of income hanging over the heads of all workers, especially in our industry. This foreshadowing by ominous clouds has stolen the celebration from this year’s May Day. As a result, this May Day bears the unique toga of a celebration without celebrating.
He called on workers as they celebrate Workers Day from the safety of their homes to reflect deeply on the present and future conditions in the world of work as being dictated by the pandemic.
He said, “While the immediate task is how to cope with the hardships imposed by income challenges, the short and long terms pose a different challenge. It is the fact that the world of work is being remodelled via the present constraints against physical congregations at work. This emerging world – a virtual world – portends an early arrival of the future of work that has been much hyped in recent times.
“This early arrival of the future poses great uncertainty in the world of work. For sure, the workplace will not be the same again. However, how fast this change will catch on remains to be seen. The big question, which every worker must ask and answer is, “if my workplace becomes virtual today, would there be a place in there for me?” Or, “How can I prepare myself for a virtual workplace so that I’m not left behind?” Your honest answers to these questions will help attune each and all to the reality of the times,”he counseled.
According to the NUATE boss, as a leadership, the union has accepted this challenge and is committed to playing its part in preparing members in the coming weeks and months for the future shift that is arriving earlier than envisaged.
He also appealed to various managements of all its partner organizations to allow the humanity in them come to the fore at this time of human tragedy.
“We urge them to deep hands into their sinking funds and assure continuity of income for their workers – you, our members.. We sincerely hope they understand with us and mitigate the catastrophe that could befall workers should they have to suffer the double jeopardy of the lockdown and significant or total loss of income.
“We are pleased that so far, the majority of our host organisations have shown substantial understanding. We urge the few odd ones to quickly adjust and tow the path of positive engagement. We are confident that the spirit of true partnership we have successfully built at this period will assure that we will pull through this difficult time together, with all the companies and our members intact.”
He further called for collaborative efforts in a bid to best the virus
“Now, however, there is a pandemic on our hands to contend with. For as long as the pandemic lasts, our lives will remain under its control. The only way to get our lives back to normal is to defeat the virus. And the only way to defeat the virus is for all of us to work together. The citizenry, the governments at all levels, and the global community must join forces and combine efforts and move in the same direction. For this to happen each and all must play well their parts.”
“ In this case, the responsible role for us to play as good citizens is to comply with all rules and guidelines issued by all governments and their appropriate agencies. It is important to stress that the present dire situation cannot afford rebellion and resistance against government. We need to set aside all differences and cooperate with one another by being pliant to rules. Together we shall defeat this unseen enemy. Yes.”