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A LOOK AT LABOUR DAY

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Added 1st May 2018 04:49 PM

Labour is a physical and conscious activity which, in history, has been applied to harness tools with raw materials from a geographical environment in order to obtain food, shelter and dresses by and, for, beings which needed them for living.

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Labour is a physical and conscious activity which, in history, has been applied to harness tools with raw materials from a geographical environment in order to obtain food, shelter and dresses by and, for, beings which needed them for living.

 

 

By Kajabago-Ka-Rusoke

First of all what is labour and why put aside a special day for commemorating it?

Labour is a physical and conscious activity which, in history, has been applied to harness tools with raw materials from a geographical environment in order to obtain food, shelter and dresses by and, for, beings which needed them for living.

To begin with, these beings were simple ones but as they came across tools and began using them, regular practice from century to century turned their forelimbs into special organs of their bodies until they became erect where in science; they have been referred to as homo – erectus, meaning standing upright.

This is because prior to the labour activity these beings were walking on four limbs. Because their forelimbs became special organs for handling tools and objects for use, these forelimbs came to be known as hands and these beings being referred to as homo – habilis, meaning handy beings.

But as all these activities took place, they again had a great impact on the brain of these beings.

They gradually acquired a highly developed thinking power. Because they became thinking beings, they were referred to as homo – sapiens, meaning brainy and thinking beings. Thus homo – habilis, homo – erectus and homo­-sapiens, all put together, illustrate the role labour has played in history in creating the modern socio – economic beings, namely the hu – man and the hu – woman ones.

In 1882, Peter J.MeGuire, in the USA, founded carpenters’ union and proposed celebrating a Labour Day.  Later a parade was held in New York City on the first Monday of September that year in honor of workers.                                                

In 1886, USA had the American Federation of  labour which named May 1, as the day when all workers should struggle for an eight hour day. This also became a labour holiday then.

In 1887, the USA state of Oregon declared first Monday of September a legal holiday for all workers.                                                                               

In 1889, there existed the international working men’s Congress of  France in Paris. This urged all workers worldwide to demonstrate in favor of an eight hour working day on 1st May, 1890.

In 1894, 31 states in the US adopted first Monday of September as a legal holiday. In the same year, the US Congress made it a national holiday.

 

Lessons

Looking at production units from extractive, manufacture, distribution and exchange it is obvious that all are conducted by labour.

There is not any tool, machine, or raw material in any production unit in the whole world which is not a product of labour, either of one who has already died or one who is still alive. All use values are symbols of concrete labor. 

Concrete labour is different from abstract labour. Abstract labour is just what one thinks should be done and how it should be done. But that thinker does not take part in physically doing or putting in place what he or she has proposed. There is no physical suffering on his or her part. This is where labour power differs from labour itself.

Labour is like eating but there must be digestion power. Labour power differs from real labour in the sense that it is the very inner ability in a labourer which enables him or her to create a use value of any description.

Labour power comes from the type of food, house, dresses the labourer uses to live in such a way that can enable him or her to produce efficiently. It is also a commodity which is exchanged for a wage. All employers should therefore pay attention to the required welfare of all their workers.

Workers will take care of all the machines, raw materials and buildings properly when they find friendly employers.

There should be arrangements to cater for higher technical knowledge and education on the part of workers in order to improve upon the quality of each and every economic unit either extractive or manufacturing. For the quality of the unit will depend on the technical quality of the worker on the machine.

Workers should be exposed to political economy plus their relationship with the state apparatus and law. They should be encouraged to be socially conscious in order to pay attention spiritually to what is really necessary in society from their productive power in all economic units.

The above – mentioned type of social consciousness to be put in place, must be based on well – arranged retreats according to the academic grades of various workers who should go to institutions like the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi or, seminars wherever suitable. 

Seminars should also be arranged for investors for the sake of mutual national spiritual understanding concerning the nature of economy that may be put in place for the welfare of the whole people.

Let us pay attention to peasant labour. Go to each and every peasant farmer; organise them into collective groups according to the geographical nature of their regions. Provide them with modern tools for large – scale production, like tractors.  Sensitise them deeply about large – scale production which must lead towards large – scale marketing through marketing cooperatives by themselves. Hold lectures and seminars in villages in local languages emphasising the need for economic collectivism on which to build patriotism, avoiding mutual mistrust and antagonism.

Establish a mixed economy of state sector by and through dedicated patriotic cadres, then cooperatives, plus private sector to fill in loopholes.

Establish a strong alliance between wage – earners and farmers as a basis for patriotism in the economic base, giving rise to a politically well – oriented political organisation for a pro – people state power in the hands of a pro – worker – farmer intelligentsia.

The writer is a Senior Presidential Adviser on Ideology              

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