On International Workers' Day, May 1st, we share some posters and excerpts of statements by Communist and Workers' parties from around the world.
CPA Statement on May Day 2021 (excerpt):
Standing with workers in Australia and across the world!
The Communist Party of Australia stands with workers who, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken to the streets in Australia and across the world in defence of their rights at work, civil and democratic rights.
May Day is a day of class struggle and internationalism. It is a display of class solidarity in opposition to the attacks by capitalist governments and employers on working people and in opposition to the downward spiral of living standards. Actions in Sydney and other cities are a militant reclaim of the 1st of May. It is the consolidation of workers’ struggles against employers and the governments that support capital.
Workers are taking to the street demanding that their rights at work be respected by the Morrison government and multinational corporations using the pandemic as an excuse to attack wages and conditions further.
May Day 2021 marks a year of unprecedented attacks on the health and well-being of working people around the world, first by the coronavirus pandemic and the greedy pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations who saw the health crisis as an opportunity to make enormous profits. And then by the global capitalist economic crisis that threw billions of people out of work around the world, stripping working people of their savings, their homes, their health and their futures, while the world’s wealth and profits became ever more centralized and concentrated into the hands of the biggest corporations and the super-rich.
According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Canada’s billionaires have increased their wealth by $78 billion since March 2020. “Canada’s top 47 billionaires now control $270 billion in total wealth… while Canada’s richest 87 families each hold, on average, 4,448 times more wealth than the typical family. Together these 87 families own more wealth than the bottom 12 million Canadians combined.” During the same time, 5.5 million Canadian workers lost their jobs or had more than half their hours cut during the pandemic, while 7 million applied for CERB benefits in April-May 2020.
While working people around the world struggled to keep their heads above water, US imperialism struggled to maintain its dominant position among the imperialist powers, and as police of the world’s states and peoples. The drive to aggression, war and regime change escalated to dangerous new levels under the Trump administration, but it has not been stepped back by the Biden administration. This includes the bombing of Syria on February 25, provocative new conditions on Iran for the US to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “Iran Nuclear Deal”) which Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of, new sanctions on China and Russia and the continuation of Trump sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela, Yemen and Iran, and outrageous declarations that Cuba and Venezuela are state sponsors of terrorism.
The Left parties extend their solidarity with the international working class on the occasion of May Day. Left Parties join our working class in the struggle to combat the pandemic and safeguard the rights of the working people.
India today is in the grip of the worst humanitarian health crisis since independence. Worse, the scourge of the pandemic continues to intensify. Immediate measures to combat the pandemic, protect people’s lives and livelihoods are needed to be undertaken by the central government on a war footing.
Immediately the following must be done:
1.Provision of oxygen to all hospitals and people needing it must be ensured.
2.Launch a Free Universal Vaccination programme across the country. Spend the budgetary allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores; release the monies collected in PM Cares Fund and stop construction of the Rs. 20,000 crores Central Vista, use this money for procuring vaccines.
3. Invoke Compulsory Licensing to produce both vaccines and life saving drugs by all competent facilities.
4. Strictly control prices of essential drugs and oxygen. Clampdown on their hoarding and black marketing.
5. Direct transfer of Rs. 7500/- to all families in the non-income tax paying bracket; free distribution of foodgrains to all needy.
The government must immediately ensure the availability of hospital beds, ventilators, ICU beds, particularly in the rural areas where the pandemic is spreading rapidly.
One whole year has been wasted by this government which did not heed any of our suggestions. Instead the government promoted mega super spreader events.
Now, India cannot afford to lose any more time.
As the least minimum government must immediately deliver on the above. Otherwise, the central government completely loses its moral authority to continue to remain in office.
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
D Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation
Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc
Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Revolutionary Socialist Party
Workers, working people, pensioners, students, youths… Let’s act hand in hand to rid the homeland of the oppression and injustice of the ruling autocratic and anti-people regime!
Greetings upon the centenary of the inaugural May 1st celebration in Iran!
Workers and working people of Iran,
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran sincerely greets you on the occasion ofMay 1st, International Workers' Day. The past year has been the difficult year of the coronavirus pandemic, the death of more than three million people around the world- the majority of whom were drawn from the working people and marginalised classes- and the exacerbation of back-breaking economic pressures on workers and working people. In the past year, as the world's giant capitalist corporations added billions of dollars to their wealth, the vast gulf between poverty and wealth increasingly widened day by day. Absolute poverty and the lack of access to jobs, housing, health and education, along with the catastrophic destruction of the environment, are the result of the domination by global monopoly capitalism. Yet capitalist theorists and advocates are trying to tout this regressive and inhumane system as the only realistic path to the development of human society.
Let's fight for Socialism
To the working class,
To working women, to working youth,
Migrant workers, the unemployed,
Receive the greeting of the Communist Party of Mexico on the occasion of the First of May, International Workers' Day, in which we pay tribute to all proletarian martyrs: to those of Chicago, Cananea, Rio Blanco, who, with their struggle, their freedom or life, have contributed to the organization and struggle of workers, to conquest of rights and improvements, but above all to opening the way to emancipation, to a society without exploited or exploiters.
Dear comrades and friends!
Please accept sincere greetings of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
Ukraine on the Day of International Workers' Solidarity - May 1.
In world human history there are milestones and events that affect the fate and life of
peoples, predetermining their further development. No doubt that one of these greatest events is the May 1st - Day of International Workers' Solidarity, which dates to the century before, when in 1889 the Paris Congress of the Second International approved it as a symbol of the struggle for workers' rights in memory of the Chicago workers who died when the police shot a peaceful demonstration in May 1886.
In the heroic Soviet era, May Day was rightfully considered a holiday, a symbol of creative endeavors, bright hopes, and deep respect for the Human of Labor who was the personification of the unity of the Soviet people of our multinational socialist Motherland, their
desire to live in peace and work for the sake of universal well-being and happiness. No wonder the symbol of the holiday was the words: May! Peace! Work!
We struggle for the right to be human.
To the ruling class, we are units of labor-power endowed with “human capital.” The latter term refers to intangible attributes of the workforce that contribute to productivity. It includes education, training, and experience, but also non-cognitive skills (like flexibility or resilience) and even patterns of emotional response. In other words, their “human capital” is our intellect, knowledge, thoughts, feelings, and acquired skills insofar as they enhance the productivity of our labor and thus the profits of capitalist class.
But human capital is not the same as humanity. Indeed, the difference between the two is one of the great lessons of the struggle for the eight-hour day, where International Workers’ Day sinks its roots. The fight to restrict the workday to eight hours, to limit the intensity of exploitation, was also a struggle to seize part of the day for ourselves.
World Federation of Trade Unions:
The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly marks the lives and actions of workers throughout the world. Our class mourned millions of deaths around the globe. Our movement found itself in unprecedented situations, demonstrating at the same time that the struggle of the class-oriented unions must encompass the whole of workers’ lives: hygiene and safety in the workplace, access to high-quality food and water, access to a safe education for our children, free, universal and public healthcare services for all.
In all capitalist states, the bourgeois class sought by all means to ensure its enormous profits, the profitability of business groups and monopolies in pandemic conditions. On the other hand, the workers saw that “only the working class can save the working class”, with the doctors and health personnel giving the battle with self-denial, at a time when capitalism neither had nor wanted to have a protection and defense plan of the people’s health.
At the same time, from the very start of the pandemic to the present day, the case of COVID-19 vaccines tragically highlights before our eyes what it means to develop, manufacture and distribute vaccines in the hands of pharmaceutical business groups- that is to say for the sake of profit and not with a view to satisfying people’s needs. We do not tolerate a situation where humanity counts its dead, where entire peoples don’t have access to the vaccines that already exist due to economic and geopolitical competition between states and business groups. This is one of the fundamental conclusions, one year after the outbreak of the pandemic.