The International Workers’ Day is a day to commemorate the historic values and achievements of generations of workers. But even as we celebrate the successes and triumphs of workers’ solidarity, we know that the challenges faced by people across the world require collective strength and commitment to carry forward the fight for rights, freedoms, peace, equality and justice.
The economy all over the world has not recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has made more evident the persistent, systemic inequalities that are rooted in and shaped by economic, political, social, and cultural structures. This has also unmasked how the health system of every country is weak and the budget too low for an equal access to social protection. In addition, the climate crisis continues to worsen, the terrible situation of the working people and the poor continues to deteriorate as imperialist nations and regional powers pursue their own geopolitical interests with continuous war drives at the cost of the lives of ordinary masses who are confronted with the food crisis and other hardships. The severe economic recession around the world has pushed a drastic number of people into poverty, joblessness and social insecurity. Even those with jobs are suffering from precarity and reduced income.
“I have had several jobs to be able to go to school. I need to work in order to survive. During the pandemic, I lost my job and tried to do online selling but still my income was not enough to make a living. I have no choice but to stop my studies and look for another job.” – Ronnel, 20 years old.
Life is getting more and more difficult for young workers who are already suffering from not having access to dignified work and not having enough income and stable jobs to support their family needs. Millions of people have been forced to leave their country becoming refugees and many more have been displaced internally without secured jobs. Through these realities young workers face the distress of losing their jobs and not being able to support their families. Many young workers have no other option but to work in the informal economy. This brings fear and insecurity in young people’s lives, shattering their dreams and aspirations. The situation only shows that rich people, politicians and countries cling to power to make more profit at the expense of people. Capitalism only brings darkness to every person through a mechanism of individualism, materialistic and market driven mentality.
As a movement of young workers, we cannot accept these undignified and inhumane realities. Based on our principles we believe that we are the sons and daughters of God. We are made in his image and likeness. We deserve to live, not just to exist!
On May Day 2022, the IYCW reaffirms its commitment to organize young workers everywhere in the world and continue to support their fights and actions. We believe that the center of the economy should not be money but investing holistically in the growth and development of human beings. We stand for peace, equality, and justice! As young workers we call for:
- Dignified life and work
- Gender equality
- Quality education
- Freedom of association
- Minimum wages on which workers can live
- Social protection for all
- Safe, healthy and sustainable jobs.