May 1, 2009 – International Workers’ Day
It was on May 1st, 1886 that union pressure first succeeded in securing the eight-hour work day that workers had sought for so long. Some years later, the proud memory of this historical milestone inspired Europeans to establish International Workers’ Day, which is now celebrated throughout the world.
For more than 100 years, International Workers’ Day has symbolized the ongoing struggle of workers everywhere. The occasion is traditionally marked by parades and union meetings. This celebration is a reminder of the importance of the labour movement. Over the centuries, workers have fought not only for better working conditions and higher salaries, but to eliminate discrimination, racism and the abuse of power in the workplace.
May 1st is therefore a date which calls for a pause to reflect and celebrate the many great labour victories over the past century. At a time when our union faces many challenges by those who would restrict our most basic right to bargain collectively, members know that more than ever, we have to continue to work together In Solidarity.