IFTU May Day Call


“We plead for the helpless, we plead for the oppressed…Socialism secures the welfare of every human being”, declared Albert Parsons, one of the four leaders of the workers movement for an eight hour working day and sentenced to death by the pro-establishment jury in Chicago, America following the incidents that occurred in the first days of May 1886. The massive struggle for an eight hour working day that swept America, Chicago being its epicenter, was indeed a struggle against the exploitative capitalist system and for a society that “secures the welfare of every human being”. In 1889, the First Congress of the Second International was held in Paris that set May 1 as a day of struggle against exploitation by capital. On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of May Day, IFTU salutes the Chicago martyrs and reiterates its resolve to continue the tradition of struggle to realize the dreams and aspirations of martyrs who laid down their lives for building a society free from exploitation and oppression.

The working class all over the world is gearing up for May Day in the midst of high food inflation, loss of employment and wages and in the midst of a surge of popular democratic movements sweeping the Arab and North African countries. The workers the world over would be organizing May Day in the backdrop of military intervention in Libya by the US, France and other NATO countries. The US in particular is trying to foist its puppets in these countries.

In our country the working class is gearing up for the May Day in the midst of growing contractualization of workforce, unemployment, wage depression and denial of minimum wages to the teeming millions sweating  it out in the dark dungeons of the unorganized sectors of the economy. May Day would be held in the midst of a situation where food inflation and price rise are eating into the meager incomes of the working masses. The multi-pronged attacks by the powers that be on the rights of the working class have intensified to favour the big corporates and the MNCs as can be seen in the Parliament passing the Bill pertaining to Pension Scheme, which facilitates the diversion of pension funds to the share markets. The issue of corruption has assumed serious proportions with central ministers getting involved in corruption and amassing crores of rupees(not something new to the ruling class politics) and the nexus between them and the big corporate honchos via the dalals, honorably called lobbyists  getting exposed. This has once again brought to the fore the deep systemic malaise. May Day would be held in the country in the backdrop of exposures by the Wikileaks of the intervention by the US in the internal affairs of the country and the subservient attitude of ruling class governments. Such interventions by the US is not something new and neither is the subservience of the ruling class governments in the country.

It is in this scenario that the working class would be organizing May Day this year and it becomes all the more imperative in the context to pledge once again the need to move on the path of struggle till the toiling masses are liberated from the clutches of exploitation by capital. The National Committee of IFTU calls upon the workers to launch struggles and forge unity in action.