Friday, May 1, 2015

International Workers' Day News from America

  • Ecuador

  • During a massive event with social movements and indigenous leaders in the town of Cangahua, in the outskirts of Quito, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa promised he will raise a social security scheme designed for the informal sector workers. Speaking in front of 6,000 people, Correa called upon them to organize and march on May 1, the international workers day, in order to show the nation the government's popular support. The president's remarks come as the National Assembly (Parliament) is discussing reforms to the country's Labor Law which would modify the Social Security system to recognize homemakers' right to healthcare and jubilation, amongst other important changes.

  • Havana

  • Encouraged by the return to Cuba of the five anti-terrorists who were imprisoned for years in US jails and of the health professionals who fought Ebola in western Africa, nearly 60 thousand health workers will join the May Day march at Havana´s Revolution Square. The general secretary of the Health Workers Union, Doctor Santiago Badia said that the sector will be represented by over 300 thousand professionals in all activities throughout the island on May 1, International Workers Day. In Havana, the health workers will be led by the 33 professionals with the medical brigade that fought Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

  • United States of America

  • On Friday, May 1 — International Workers’ Day — the cranes for loading cargo at the San Francisco and Oakland ports will be still. The April meetings of both the Executive Board and membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 unanimously endorsed a call for “Union Action to Stop Police Killings of Black and Brown People.” A unanimously approved amendment called for the monthly union membership meeting to be held on the May 1 day shift and conclude with a march and a rally at Oakland City Hall, to demonstrate that the rampant killings by police are an urgent labor issue. The killing of young Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police on Aug. 9 and the cellphone-videoed killing of Eric Garner by New York police on Staten Island galvanized a rainbow movement, led by Black and Brown youth.

    According to the Madison Industrial Workers of the World: Our predecessors managed to organize, act and gain victories before the Wagner Act in 1935, and they had things much worse than we do, even being literally massacred at times. We need to honor their legacy by learning from them and continuing the fight today. This year’s May Day rally and march will begin at Brittingham Park along West Washington Avenue at 3:30 p.m. Friday, with a march to the Capitol, where the rally will continue. Let’s use this as an opportunity to renew the fight!

    The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is sponsoring a May Day rally at Dragon's Gate in Chinatown, calling for a $15 an hour wage, justice in communities of color, and no more delays for DACA/DAPA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents).

  • Canada

  • The sixth annual, labour-inspired MayWorks Windsor Festival gets under way Tuesday, April 28, with a Workers Day of Mourning.A MayWorks quilt, titled In Memory of Workers Killed or Injured on the Job, will be unveiled that day at Artcite Inc., 109 University Ave. W., in the Capitol Theatre complex, leading to a month of initiatives in May.May Day celebrations on Friday, May 1, will include an outdoor party at Lanspeary Park, a dance party at Milk Cafe, an installation at the downtown Windsor gallery, One Ten Park, and a workshop at Artspeak Gallery on Wyandotte Street East.An entire month of activities will follow, including art displays and music, with this year’s general theme of Our Windsor Stories. Several communities across Canada host MayWorks festivals to recognize the links between the labour movement and the arts.

    The West Kootenay Labour Council invites all residents of the Castlegar area to join them in celebrating International Workers’ Day on Friday, May 1. Local union affiliates are sponsoring a free barbecue lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Spirit Square in front of city hall.“Around the world, workers acknowledge May 1 as the day to celebrate gains made in working conditions, health and safety and wages and benefits,” said labour council president Gerry Schmon. “However, it is also a day to reflect on the growing inequalities in society, the erosion of public services that communities rely on and the gap in wages between men and women that need to be addressed,” he continued. “We celebrate the fact that when workers show solidarity in the face of oppression, we have the strength to make positive change. With increased attacks on democratic rights, our environment and our social networks, we need to solidify our commitment to protect the collective gains we made and protect our children’s futures.”

  • Costa Rica

  • Teachers’ unions will also cancel classes and take to the streets of San Jose… May 1st, on International Workers’ Day (Labor Day).

    Some 100 busloads of public school teachers from across the country will cancel classes and converge on San Jose on Friday as part of a strike over a laundry list of issues which union leaders blame on “neoliberal” policies put in motion by the Solis administration. The demonstrators plan to march from Parque La Merced to the Legislative Assembly. In a press release last week, the Association of Secondary Teachers, APSE, said that the strike would be the “beginning of a struggle” against a number of grievances, including “the anguish felt by thousands of workers to see their jobs and salaries in danger;” […] “corruption, dirty business, impunity, tax evasion, loss of sovereignty, environmental damage, repression, privatization of basic services, loss of labor rights […] all as a result of the application of neoliberal policies.

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