May Day Is Our Day
The first of May arrives while we are under the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Healthcare workers are facing a huge challenge for the sake of humanity. They exert tremendous efforts and risk their lives. Thousands of Workers in production halls work in order to provide the needs of society including medications, food, cleaning, and protective equipments.
Under these difficult circumstances, we see those who care for nothing but the preservation of their profits even if it comes at the expense of the right to life. The pandemic actually exposed the ugly face of capitalism.
Many studies expect deterioration of economic conditions under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which will lead to lower development rates, and halting or slowing of production in many enterprises in labour-intensive sectors like tourism and textile. The coming period will also witness the return of many workers from Gulf countries because of declining oil prices. The pandemic also revealed the bad conditions of informal workers and the need to provide them with social security coverage. Under these challenges, the role of unions and workers’ organizations in defending the interests of workers and protecting their rights becomes clear. There is a pressing need for starting a real social dialogue in which all concerned parties participate (unions, representatives of workers, political parties, and civil society organizations) in order to formulate a comprehensive vision for confronting the social and economic repercussions of the pandemic on society. This vision should support social justice, the right to organize, and freedom of expression.
The pandemic forced us to cancel Labour Day celebrations. However, we need to stick now more than ever to the values of the labour movement like workers’ solidarity in order to face the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The right of workers to freely establish their own unions has to be upheld so they have unions that represent them, and defend their interests in the face of a capitalist system in which a handful of people monopolize wealth while millions of people suffer poverty, hunger and disease.
In spite of these challenges and difficulties that will face us, the first of May will remain the Labour day. It will remain the day on which flags of workers are raised. The first of May will remain our day.
Center for Trade Union and Workers Services
1 May 2020