Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

May Day 2010

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Greetings on labour’s day of remembrance, solidarity, celebration and re-dedication.

Here’s three things that remind me of why May Day remains important to the international labour movement, and of what solidarity means in the new decade of the 21st century if it is to be more than just a slogan:

1. At home: the last weekend of campaigning before the general election and the next big effort to ensure the BNP doesn’t gain a seat in parliament on Thursday. Of course, HOPE not hate is actively campaigning in key target areas and its organisers still need your support. Solidarity means uniting against the fascists.

2. Internationally: the draft text of the EU’s Free Trade Agreement with Colombia has been dissected by the TUC. Solidarity means freedom of association, and free from the fear of death squads for standing up for the rights of ordinary people – yet the proposed FTA brushes this under the carpet.

3. In Europe: At the European Trade Union Confederation, John Monks’s May Day message was based on the need to stand shoulder to shoulder with Greek workers to demand social justice and that the EU act decisively to stabilise the situation. Building the European project demands strength, not vacillation; perspective, not short-termism. Solidarity means having the dream and the vision for a brighter, alternative future – and the courage to express what that is when the practical situation demands it.

A May Day worth celebrating: and achievements to be won to demonstrate in practice what solidarity means.

[6 May edit: the TUC has reported events from May Day celebrations around the world here.]

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Written by Calvin

01/05/2010 at 9:00 am

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