May Day – May 1st

 In News

To All Workers:

Re: May Day, May 1, 2021

As I write this letter to the rank and file members of the ILWU Canada, or any worker that reads this letter, I wish to thank you all. I want to thank you for being you, Workers! Today is your day!

At times we forget about ourselves, we forget that we are all workers, we forget that we work for bosses, and those bosses give us nothing nor do the governments that play into their hands. The only time we as workers have gained anything is through struggle. The only way we win through struggle is by being indivisible! We must know our collective value and our collective power as members of the working class. We must not allow the governments of the day or our employers to divide us by pitting us against one another for their own evil needs.

May 1st was declared to be International Workers Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago. The massacre happened when an unidentified person threw a bomb into a crowd of workers who were striking for an eight (8) hour workday. The police response was brutal in every way imaginable, they fired upon the peaceful workers, killing at least 38 civilians and injuring over 100. Hundreds of labour leaders and sympathizers were arrested by police, and a “trial” was held to convict four people who were executed by hanging for crimes they did not commit. This is why we call May Day the true workers day!

Fast forward to 2021, and we watch the government of Canada (namely the Liberal party and the Conservative party) steal away workers right to strike by passing illegal legislation to force CUPE 375 Longshore workers back to work in the Port of Montreal. 135 years after the Haymarket Massacre labour is still defending ourselves against governments and corporations that choose to conspire to keep the Working Class down!

On behalf of the ILWU Canada, I wish to celebrate May Day, our day, dedicated to not only the rank and file members of CUPE 375, but all workers around the world that are being oppressed by their employers and governments.

In Strength and Solidarity,

Rob Ashton


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