The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in the name of its more than 92 million affiliates all over the world salutes, on the occasion of this great day, all the workers who live, work and struggle in every corner of the world. May Day was, is and will be a beacon for the struggles of yesterday and tomorrow despite our enemies’ efforts. May Day has to be a message of resistance against bourgeoisie, imperialists and their international alliances’ policies.
At the same time, the workers’ blood which was shed in Chicago on 1886 reminds us of our duty today; it reminds us that nothing is given for free; every right or freedom that was conquered by our class has been won through sacrifices, conflicts and organized struggles.
Today, whilst technology and scientific progress have contributed to the increase of the produced social wealth, our class’ living conditions have been deteriorating. In every capitalist country, the bosses attack our class achievements: they are sweeping through salaries, pensions and social security; they are privatizing everything, they don’t hesitate to attack even the sacred right to strike! Strike is the most powerful weapon we have in our hands and we are not going to allow anyone to limit, confine or convert it to a dead letter!
At the same time, they are intensively preparing and conducting regional wars.They pave the way for new massacres that will maximize their profits, for new imperialist interventions that will destroy nations, spill peoples’ blood and deprive them of their natural resources. The ongoing imperialist intervention in Libya and Syria, the growing aggression against Venezuela, the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the massacre of Saudi Arabia against Yemen, the tension on the Korean peninsula, they are all indications that multinationals have smelled new profitability areas; and every time this goes through the dead bodies of workers.
Under the current conditions of the deep economic crisis of capitalism and intense competition among various imperialist centers to control new markets, our most powerful weapons are INTERNATIONALISM and SOLIDARITY. No worker must feel alone. All together, we must move on with Solidarity and Internationalism, building the Unity of the working class to give practical effect to Karl Marx’s motto “proletarians of all countries unite”.
In this context, and on this anniversary, the WFTU expresses its solidarity with our persecuted brothers, the immigrants and refugees, who either because of imperialists’ bullets or because of poverty and misery generated by this system, are forced to leave their homeland. The WFTU will continue to be on their side, fighting for a world without exploitation and refugees. Immigrants must become an integral part of unions, unite with local workers and fight together for wages, rights, against wars and interventions.
We join our voice with the heroic Palestinian people in order to gain their own independent and democratic homeland.
At the same time, we stand by the side of the struggling female worker, the one who suffers from double exploitation. The WFTU female members, at the recent World Women’s Congress in Panama, declared loud and clear that they want equal rights to work, society and life. The WFTU also fights and will continue to fight for this equality. It’s the same orientation that we follow for the the youngsters, as the new generation of workers have the task to honor the best May Day struggle traditions.
This year, the WFTU, by giving its hand to anyone who has stood up, has announced the year of trade union education and training. Our purpose is that the new shifts of workers be insubordinate, militant, enemies of class compromise and collaboration. We honor the year of trade union training and we call on every union to contribute to the militant truth, revealing the true meaning of May Day and the sacrifices the working class made for it. By rescuing the past, the very memory of our movement, we leave a legacy for tomorrow’s struggles and we also have a tool for the future. It is a duty to know the history of our movement.
The WFTU takes steps forward, strengthens and grows: and that’s what frightens our opponents. There is no other way than to make it present everywhere, in every corner of the world, so that there is no longer a hungry, dismissed, hunted or persecuted worker. The WFTU must be a “trench” of struggle for a future without exploitation of man by man. This is how the vision of the first Secretary General of the WFTU, Luis Saillant, envisioned in 1945 will be brought to life: “The WFTU for the workers of the whole world!”