May 1, 2019
Let’s work to change the system itself!
Workers International Struggle Initiatives (WORKINS) and the trade union section of the International League of Peoples Struggles call for an anti-imperialist united front to:
- struggle to lift minimum wages everywhere;
- improve wages and working conditions;
- fiercely resist the privatization drive, and the intense attack on public services, pensions, and workers’ rights in all countries by big finance capital.
- uphold migrant and refugee rights against the racist fascist movements
- replace neo-liberal capitalism with socialist alternatives.
We must educate and mobilize a global workers’ movement for democratic pro-people transformation of our economies. Otherwise the big capitalists will use the deepening crisis to foment racist divisions among workers and peoples to enable ever worse austerity and repression of democratic rights.
Expand economic struggles and turn them into political struggles
This is the way to expand and strengthen the trade union movement. Socialism for our times is an answer to the shocking racism being promoted by big capitalists, especially in Europe and the USA. The massive Indian trade union general strike in January 9-10, 2019, to increase the minimum wages, oppose a neo-liberal labor code and oppose privatisation shows what can be done.
The ‘yellow vests’ protest movement against austerity in France has been divided by the use of violent provocateurs and racists, but the progressive majority continues to assert its strong opposition to President Macron’s neo-liberal formulas.
The capitalists are pressing down wages, promoting labor ‘flexibility’, and stealing workers’ social benefits – so our answer must be to strengthen the workers’ and people’s struggle to higher wages, regular jobs, better working conditions and genuine social change.
The Great Recession of 2008-09 is far from over, nor is the global economy experiencing ‘recovery’. It is an ongoing global depression, with Central Banks reversing recent moves to ‘normalize’ credit markets as a new global slowdown emerges. Big finance capital fears another big crash.
With the end of massive money printing by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve, and the tailing off of money printing by the European Central Bank, money flowed back from Latin America into the USA and the corrupt rightwing oligarchs struck down the pro-worker governments of Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador. Venezuela was also hit by economic crisis and the US is openly backing a coup attempt, which the workers of Venezuela are successfully blocking.
As well, the global ecological crisis, as now manifest in global coral bleaching and ever more massive storms and floods, continues to create climate refugees, cause deaths, and threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people now and the prospects for future generations.
The poor countries, especially in Asia and Africa, continue to experience chronic high unemployment and under-employment. Low value-adding export sectors make them profoundly dependent on external conditions. Even Asia’s richest economy, Japan, is struggling to break out of three decades of recession and deflation through the neo-liberal shock policies of the Abe government.
Every day thousands of men, women and children fleeing war and poverty finally meet death, on land or sea. Those who escape death – refugees or migrants – are exploited, assaulted. They confront racism, prostitution, drugs, corrupt officials and criminal gangs.
The global economic crisis is fueling ever more strident competition between the imperial centers. In 2016 the British ruling class split over Europe, leading to the current calamity of Brexit. And the US ruling class split over how to re-assert US corporate interests, leading to the election of President Trump. Trump is dumping the ultra-neo-liberal schemes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Instead he favours unilaterally imposing US demands through trade wars with Europe, Japan and China. Trump also opposes the World Trade Organisation where US corporate demands have largely been blocked by the farmers’ movements in poor countries for the last 20 years.
Working men and women everywhere are deeply questioning the capitalist system and on this May Day 2019 we must mobilise, unite and campaign for change to a democratic and sustainable world.
Trade unions, migrant worker organisations, worker cooperatives and worker organizing centers are creating a renewed global workers’ movement. Join it!
- Increase the national minimum wages and working conditions in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific, and everywhere!
- Workers’ rights instead of ‘flexibilization’ and ‘contractualization’. Close down global placement agencies.
- Oppose imperial wars, oppose terrorism, uphold migrant and refugee rights.
- Strengthen the campaign against trade union repression and criminalization of worker and labor advocates.