WFTU Statement on May Day 2017

But, if you think that by hanging us, you can stamp out the labor movement – the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery – the wage slaves – expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out.
August Spies, 31, on August 20, 1886. One of the leaders hanged in Chicago, USA.

The World Federation of Trade Unions on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day on May 1st conveys its militant greetings to all the workers of the planet who struggle for the fulfillment of their contemporary needs through their trade union organizations.

May Day is a landmark in the workers’ struggles all over the world, since 1886 the demands of migrant workers in Chicago are still relevant today. Their struggle continues today in the struggle for stable work with rights, social security, free health and education, dignified life. Like then, in Chicago the migrant workers, who had gone to the USA for work, stood in the first line of the class struggle, also nowadays the millions of migrant workers can intensify the struggles against capitalist barbarity with their active and militant participation in the trade-unions.

This year is marked by the sharpening of the intra-imperialist antagonisms which cause even greater intensification of the exploitation of the peoples, as well as the danger of a generalized war. The developments in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe prove the aggressiveness of the capital against the workers’ movement, make thousands of people turn to immigration to escape the war zones, while the EU and the European governments pretend that they want to help the refugees to survive.

The workers all over the world are worried about the aggressiveness of the USA government, of NATO and their allies who in order to gain new markets and rob the natural resources of the countries, are bombarding the peoples of Syria, are killing children in Palestine, are pushing the Venezuelan people to civil conflict, are threatening with the use of nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula region. They are those who dropped the largest conventional bomb in Afghanistan, they are the same imperialists who support and collaborate with the government of Ukraine which is also supported by fascists, they are the same who support and tolerate the Israeli policies in the Middle East.

These intra-imperialist antagonisms are deteriorating even more the financial situation of the workers and the pensioners. There is a generalized cut in salaries and pensions, privatizations in social security, public health and education, increase of unemployment, “black” work and restrictions of trade union freedoms. In this general picture the working class and the peoples are being prepared for the militant celebration of the May Day 2017.

The WFTU calls its affiliates and friends in every corner of the world to honor the International Workers’ Day with every means and in any way possible, to unite their voices and shout:

“We organize our struggle against the Imperialistic Barbarity, for the contemporary needs of the people and the youth, for a world without exploitation and wars”

The WFTU representing 92 million workers in every continent of the world conveys its internationalist solidarity to the heroic people of Cuba who will host the WFTU Presidential Council on May 3rd-5th, to the workers of the world who are fighting against the imperialistic aggressiveness.

In 2017, after the 17th World Trade Union Congress, the WFTU is stronger, with new forces, new affiliates, but above all with its resolutions.

We are organizing even more widely and strongly our common actions in every country, in every continent, for the emancipation of the working class, for the struggle for our rights and needs. Against the exploitation system that provokes poverty, wars and refugees.

The peoples’ enemies are not invincible,
Invincible are the struggling peoples.