Chicago, May 1st, 1886
350,000 workers in 1.200 factories are on strike. 100.000 are in the streets protesting fighting for the 8hour shift and better working conditions. The struggle of the working class against exploitation by capital has began; it will be long, tough, and without respite.
There’s already been a century and half worth of working class struggle the world over. The 8 hours shift, Collective Agreements, social security, maternity leave, the right to organize, all these rights as much as the employment law itself where never given for free but have been conquered by ceaseless struggles, by sacrifices and even blood.
May 1st is a day of remembrance and show of tribute to the struggle and sacrifices of millions of workers. For those countless workers who fell in the brutal theatres of class war, defending social justice, the interests and needs of workers around the world. On May 1st we honor the fighters who pioneered the organization of our class against capital, by establishing syndicates, the tools for the organization, unity, solidarity and struggle for power of the working class. We honorMay 1st as it demands, by striking, by fighting in the war between working class and capital.
Cyprus, May 1st, 2014
128 years later, workers continue to experience the barbarism of the most ruthless attack by capital, demanding to win a come-back, to diminish what our ancestors have achieved, and cast the workers back into such conditions of work and living that resemble those of the middle ages.
Capitalism, with its neoliberal policies is building an employer’s ‘promise land’. The whole country is becoming a borderless zone of free, flexible and rented army of people, without rights. The target is union struggle itself and this because what capital has understood as a necessity is the workers to be left without syndicates; this, in order to continue what they always have been doing: squeeze life out of the working class albeit this time without struggling.
Now, more than ever before, May 1st communicates with the struggles of old in Chicago. Today, as then, the need for syndicates is ever more demanding. The regrouping, the refoundation of syndicate action, based on those very same principles on which the history of the working class’s struggles has been written; struggles heroic, unconditional and self-sacrificing. Today as ever what is imperative is an organized wave of strikes, one through which the working class organized will strike back against the capitalist state and achieve victory.
Workers, unemployed and youth, the targets to the most brutal and merciless attack by capital at the national, the EU and international level, now, again more than ever we need to organize, to unite in solidarity in order to be able attack back. In order not to become the slaves anew, so as not to allow them to cast us back into poverty. All together, effacing the bourgeois inspired value added to speaking Greek or Turkish, English or French, to working in the public or private sector or, to having been born here or elsewhere. All, united, we can build our common, socialist future!
Workers united will never be defeated