ILPS Workers’ Commission
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Commission for Workers celebrates with the working class and all oppressed peoples the International Labour Day this First of May 2022.
It has been over two years since the global pandemic of Covid-19 struck. No end is in sight. The long-running global economic slowdown after four decades of failed neoliberal policies is worsening into a Greater Depression. Material conditions of life itself, nature and the environment, are being plundered and destroyed. Inter-imperialist rivalry is making wars inevitable such as in Ukraine and South China Sea as well as giving rise to desperate fascist reaction in many countries. The working class and labouring masses suffer the most. They are thus thrust into the frontline to assert freedom, democracy and socialism to end imperialist exploitation and oppression, plunder and war.
Global unemployment is reaching 205 million this year surpassing the 186 million in 2019. Wage and social cuts have impoverished hundreds of millions more. The women, youth, migrants and colored people are most vulnerable. Covid response and economic stimulus packages only saved big businesses and mired more nations under debt slavery. The Gig Economy on digital platforms only secured greater capitalist profits. Inequality and injustice deepened. Instead of empowering the working people, the military and police were given more power by governments feeding their war machine against the people.
The working class is fighting back
The great class struggles of the 19th century led to the birthing of socialist revolutions and national liberation movements of the 20th century. The capitalist restoration in former socialist countries aggravated the global capitalist crisis and gave valuable lessons for all workers and oppressed peoples in the 21st century. Today, more workers are learning. Today, more workers are uniting with peoples in democratic struggles. Today, more social movements are confronting governments to bring down the imperialist order and local reaction. The working class struggle for national and social liberation shines bright amid the dark Covid years.
Global unions condemn labor repression all over the world. Since 2020, street protests and strikes faced the health, economic and social impact of government pandemic response. Workers in private and public sectors raised labor and industrial protests. Health workers, including doctors and nurses, transport workers, oil and gas workers, and those working under multinational corporations such as American-based Amazon and MacDonalds went on strike. Students engaged in university strikes. General strikes were called in Italy, India, Peru, and Palestine. Anti-imperialist and anti-fascist movements are gaining strength and momentum.
Solidarity campaigns supported the liberation struggles in Palestine, Kurdistan, Philippines, Myanmar, as well as the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, and the Korean Peninsula. Despite limited face-to-face meetings, on-line discussions, study conferences and fora were conducted on various topics relevant to the workers’ struggles.
Organizing for empowerment
The unionization rate in developed capitalist countries is steadily dwindling. Underdeveloped countries, including so-called transitional democracies, have much lower number of unions and their membership is drastically cut by flexible work arrangements like contractual labor.
Labor aristocrats, paid for by capitalist profit, are engaging in another “social dialogue” and are seeking some sort of a new “social contract” with capitalists. Some are seeking to tax the rich without changing the parasitic nature of the capitalist state itself. Others want to “climate-proof” work as if the capitalist system is not the main cause of environmental degradation. They seek labor protection from the system itself that exploits labor.
Organizing the exploited and oppressed masses goes beyond trade unions and the workplace. Workers must never confine themselves to trade union rights alone but must unite with the democratic struggles of their own people in solidarity with other workers and peoples. It is imperative to expand and intensify the economic struggles and raised to political battles.
Workers are now empowering themselves ideologically, politically, and organizationally. They are raising their class and political consciousness awoke of their own conditions. They are politically active on every burning social issue and goes beyond the electoral vote and parliamentary action. They mobilize themselves and unite with the broadest democratic forces to effect a most meaningful revolutionary change.
The road to socialism for over a hundred years has been epic. This century is a defining moment in our history. Either the exploiters continue to wallow in their monopoly capitalist folly of private appropriation amid social production, or be expropriated by the empowerment of the most progressive social class in the history of humankind — the working class.
End imperialist plunder and war!
Defeat militarism, fascism and repression!
Long live International Labor Day!
Long live international solidarity!