Labour Day is often celebrated with parades and social activities around the globe. However, with the current COVID-19 crisis, many events for Labour Day celebration are reported being cancelled.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development of Uganda, Frank Tumwebaze announced that due to the social disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country will not organise International Labour Day celebrations on 1st of May 2020. As a matter of fact, many public events have been postponed or even cancelled as the global society is under quarantine. Businesses are also encouraged to practice social hygiene, send employees home to work remotely, and practice physical distancing when employees cannot work from home.
With the celebration being cancelled, there are things employers and employees can still do to celebrate Labour Day. The ideas might not be as lively as last year’s celebration, but it might raise awareness, help strengthen the community and workers, as well as public individuals, to stay optimistic during the pandemic. Here they are:
Collective efforts and solidarity between employers’ and employees’ organisations are critical to responding effectively to the impact of the COVID-19 situation in the world of work, ILO reported. For instance, workers and employers can work together and negotiate a mechanism to ease the burden on workers temporarily laid off amidst a severe economic downturn.
In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, many events and business services are closed, including restaurants, bars, events, theatres, orchestras, etc. There are some restaurants that convert their business into a drive-in eatery or family meal delivery service. These restaurants ask the community to support them by ordering pick-up or delivery and make sure to tip the staff as much as they can to support each other. There are also not-for-profit organisations that cancelled their events asking audiences to not ask for a refund and even consider donating further to the organisation.
In line with this, you can support and strengthen your solidarity by buying from local businesses and not-for-profit org, and find out if there are ways you can still buy from them or donate.
Labour Day is often commemorated to strengthen the bond between workers in the past. Today, employees and other workers can do the same by helping each other, such as volunteering in a fundraising agency to help those who are affected and lost their job. Or, simply helping distribute foods and other support for the elderly or those who are in self-isolation. Labour day can also be celebrated by volunteering as a crisis counsellor for the Crisis Text Line.
Blood shortage happens worldwide. The Red Cross org announced on their website that there is currently a severe blood shortage. The organisation encouraged anyone who is healthy and eligible to give blood or platelets to make an appointment to donate through the Red Cross. If you are worried about possible infection when donating, the Red Cross has adopted a new guideline for blood donation during the outbreak.