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World Federation of Trade Unions statement on May Day, 2011

By World Federation of Trade Unions

We honour and celebrate May Day 2011 at a crucial period. At a period of aggressive imperialism, anti-labour policies and at a time when the global capitalist system is in a deep and multifaceted economic crisis of the system itself. This crisis is expressed in all sectors: in the economy, the environment, the quality of life, culture and climate change. Crises are in the DNA of capitalism and for this reason they come over and over again. It is impossible for capitalism to solve the problems of the peoples of the world.

In the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, the North Africa the dangerous developments, the conflicts and the competition between the various imperialist compounds are targeting the petroleum of Libya, the natural gas of the countries in North Africa and the control of strategic points rich in raw materials. We have seen the military aggression of the imperialists against Libya. In Swaziland the government responded brutally against the peaceful demonstrations by its own citizens, demanding a democratic government to rule in the genuine interests of all the citizens of that country.  In Algeria, the regime showed once again its true face with the state violence used against the demonstration of the Algerian people against the poverty, the rising unemployment and the high prices of the daily essentials, the lack of freedom and the rising oppression. In Egypt, we have seen the people struggling for democracy, freedom and justice against the policy and tactics of the USA, trying to control the developments and to place their new tools, their new puppets in the leadership of the Egyptian State. In Tunisia, the growth goes hand in hand with the complete lack of freedom, the persecution of progressive people and every other voice of contradiction, the poverty, the high unemployment rate, the social injustice and the high prices of the daily essentials.

In the Middle East the torment of the heroic Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian peoples continue by Israel, with the substantial support of the USA, the European Union and its allies. In Bahrain, the government declared a martial law against the people and working class of Bahrain, who are struggling for democracy, freedom and justice and to stop the plundering of the resources of the country by capitalists, kings and emirs.

In Asia the picture is no better: in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the USA and the European imperialists are continuing their occupation and military operations. The deadly floods in Pakistan and the deadly tsunami in Japan are another proof that the people of the world are unprotected against the natural phenomena, despite the technological breakthrough.

In the USA the situation is also complicated. In North America, unemployment and poverty are growing. The official unemployment rate in the U.S. is currently 9.5% – 10.2 million Americans are now receiving unemployment benefits.

Latin America feels the aggressiveness of North America. Slander and attacks against the heroic Cuban Revolution, attacks against Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, the occupation in Haiti, support for the dictatorship in Honduras. In Colombia, in the last five years, hundreds of trade unionists have been assassinated and the country is being transformed into an American military base. In Chile, the tragic accident occurred at San Jose mine and the crime committed against the miners. In Brazil, the devastating floods caused death to innocent lives.

But also in Europe, capitalism creates and multiplies the problems. Unemployed workers in the countries of the European Union number millions. In Europe, the official unemployment rate has reached 9.3%, with unemployment having risen at 20.7% for young workers between the ages 15-24. Privatizations, the undermining of social security and the reduction of wages and pensions are a common strategy of all the European Governments, both neoliberals and socialdemocrats. The Lisbon Treaty shows the reactionary attitude and the real role of the European Union.

To this policy of the capital and the imperialists, the global working class is responding with initiatives and struggles all over the world. Millions of strikers with the participation of youth, women and migrant workers have provided a new dynamic and fresh hopes.

The WFTU has always been ahead in the front line of struggle! There is no corner of the world where the WFTU has not been present, standing on the side of the weak, always on the side of the peoples, alongside with the working class, in the struggles against capitalist exploitation.

We strengthen the international class-oriented trade union movement on the path indicated by the 16th Congress of WFTU. The decisions of this historic Congress that took place in Athens, Greece on the 6-10 April 2011 open new roads, new horizons and new prospects for the global working class.

During the four days of the congress works that followed, 115 speakers from the five continents and the basic sectors took the floor. All the acute, contemporary problems of the working people, the poor farmers, the self-employed, the youth, the women, the pensioners and the landless were discussed. Resolutions that strengthen the class-oriented character of the WFTU and aim for the strengthening of the international trade union movement have been voted.

Today WFTU is stronger, more militant, more united, more capable to continue the struggle with class unity and a militant perspective, against the policies of the monopolies and the multinationals that create poverty for the many and big profits for the few. For a World without exploitation from man to man.

Long Live workers May Day!

Proletarians of all countries unite!

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