This May Day is much more than an annual celebration where workers take the opportunity to get together. It’s a key event for the labour movement, for green jobs, for decent work, for access to unions, for justice for workers, and also for climate justice. It’s a chance to connect with other workers who have been fighting for decent employment standards, and a chance to demonstrate that united people-power and worker-power are our greatest tools. On May 1 workers are invited to come out in force with our families to celebrate.
Workers of the world unite
Workers have always marched together on May Day across the globe to challenge the exploitation of the working class. But this damn pandemic on top of capitalism’s neglect of the poor and working class has exposed the reality and necessity of real change.
This years’ May Day event will highlight that our survival depends on a workers first agenda. Our economy is nothing without the labour of all our frontline and essential workers. Without the essential demands of essential workers being met, the entire economy is rotting from the inside. When our politicians do not plan for workers’ well-being as much as they plan for their own, then society suffers.
To demand the real antidote to what ails us, all workers must rally together. Pushing back against exploitation is what we need, and our super-power is in solidarity. We need to resist xenophobia and the racial division inflicted on us by capitalist indoctrination. We need to unite against the injustice of being divided—based on immigration status, access to paid sick days, or decent wages.
We need access to unions that truly work for workers now more than ever. Workers should have rights to speak up about health and safety issues, fair and equal pay, and demand paid sick days without fear of termination. Workers need their wages to be increased, and their labour rights to be recognized and enforced.
Besides our labour, workers have an abundance of brain power and innovative experience. It’s workers on the ground who have the best ideas about green job creation to fix environmental damage done deliberately here by discriminatory conglomerates. We need political leaders who will finally take real climate change action against major polluters. Since these major polluters are also the major financial contributors to political parties, we can’t truly expect most political leaders under capitalism to have motivation to fix this. Colonial and imperialist upper-classes have no interest in ceasing any of the economic-based wars at home or
overseas, or stopping the exploitation of land and labour from which they benefit enormously.
That’s why we also need May Day: to shift the focus from capitalist politicians to the collective power of workers. There is power in our connection. There is power in our allyship and collectives. There is power in our solidarity. It’s time to show off our power tools. This is how we can build worker confidence in the face of the mighty conglomerates who are destroying the world by glorifying profits, using up resources, and treating workers and our communities as if we’re disposable.
A workers first agenda
The Ford government has almost convinced us (but not quite) that they are ‘working for workers’. But workers would know if our labour was truly appreciated, wouldn’t we? Teachers, care-givers, health-care workers, construction, retail, grocery store and daycare workers would surely be able to tell.
But now more of us are motivated to unite to try to protect ourselves from our common oppressor. From contract-flippers and temp agency wage-theft, to employers of migrant workers who have been permitted to erase workers’ rights. And now these app-based employers like Uber: this latest gig economy is no joke as it pretends to extend workerss rights and to offer ‘flexibility’, while completely side-stepping employment standards and employer responsibilities.
On May 1, workers across Ontario are ready to unite and fight for a workers first agenda. It’s an agenda where a worker-led economy finally puts us first. We need to stop the capitalist crises that crop up continually in our own neighbourhood as well as across the globe. How do you feel personally about the erosion of Ontario labour laws? About your precarity at work? About paid sick days for all, and future career prospects for all? How about status for all?
A workers first agenda could effectively steer us clear of the elite’s war against the working poor, and towards a sustainable future for our children and this planet. Come out on May Day to demonstrate what workers really deserve, as part of rallies in cities across the country and around the world. In Toronto there will be a free and public rally. We’ll meet at Grange Park at 11:30 am and march together to Queens’ Park. It will be family friendly and feature feeder marches of trade unions and other organizations such as Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, and the Injured Workers Group. Hoping to see you all out on May Day in support of Ontario workers building a workers first agenda that will uplift us and not dismiss us.
Come out on Sunday May 1st to Grange Park at 11:30 am to find out how
the workers first agenda can build Solidarity and Justice for Workers now
It’s not the politicians call…their plan was never designed for all.
In fact, it’s only socially caring workers as leaders on the ground
armed with Indigenous wisdom, workers can turn this mess around.
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