Today is May Day. While it is shunned in the United States, not being taught in our schools and ignored by the mainstream media, today is an extremely important holiday for workers. Protests are occurring all over the United States in New York, Chicago, and Seattle, as well as in many other places across the nation and the globe. May Day (also known as International Workers Day) is a holiday which began as a response to the unfair trial of anarchists and to struggle for workers rights, in the form of fighting for an eight-hour work day.
Today in the United States we see workers under assault, from not being able to survive on the minimum wage to the Koch Brother-connected organization ALEC pushing for an anti-worker agenda. Globally, the situation for workers may only get worse with the Trans–Pacific Partnership and its relatively unknown sister pact, the Trans-Atlantic Partnership. All we have to do is remember NAFTA, which hurts workers across in the US and Mexico, as well as Canada. The TPP and TAP are going to have horrible effects on workers: “Loss of living wage jobs & increase of worker exploitation, Increase in unsafe food and other consumer products, and Expansion of Corporate Rights & reduction in Corporate Responsibility.”
Yet, the situation has the potential to be much worse. If NAFTA was responsible for the loss of virtually 700,000 US jobs and it only included three countries, think of how many job losses there will be since the TPP includes 12 nations (the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam) and the TAP includes 29 nations (all of the European Union and the US).
So now is the time to fight back, to fight back against unfair wages, to fight back against corporate welfare, to fight against trade deals that will harm us. It’s time to fight to regain our dignity, our respect as workers, rather than continue to have banksters and their cronies in government disrespect and disempower us. Stand up and fight back! If you can, protest and organize! If you can’t do those, pay attention to what is going on and spread the information around, not just on social media but also in our daily interactions with our fellow workers and those who sympathize with us, bearing witness is important.
Don’t let this be something that lasts only one day. We need to fight for ourselves on a regular basis if we are to succeed in our goals, even if it is something as small as spreading awareness. It is time for us to stand up and fight back!