May Day International Workers Day
The history of May Day is a history of the struggle of the working people to achieve a better quality of life, decent pay, working conditions and for a society that meets the needs of the people. The international labour holiday called May Day originated in the struggle of the American Trade Union Movement for an 8 hour day. The struggle reached its height in 1886 when on the 1st May about ½ million workers were involved in strikes and demonstrations for the 8 hour day.
May Day took place this year in the midst of a global economic crisis. Workers around the world are being reminded that capitalism has been an unplanned and crisis-ridden economic system that is poorly placed for furthering social and environmental interests.
Employers chasing maximum profits will use new technology to cut the cost of labour and increase output. They lower wages, abolish benefits and cut working conditions. Globalisation has allowed capitalism to double its global workforce. It has also created a worldwide wage competition and many high-wage jobs have been destroyed. Worldwide, production has rapidly expanded but the lot of millions of workers is slower to progress.