Long before the first May Day, or International Workers Day, in 1886, working people have struggled to win a living wage, and today the struggle continues as corporations are bailed out instead of people and most of us struggle to pay for basic expenses and maintain a decent standard of living.
At the current moment, the constant pain of life under capitalism in crisis has hit frontline workers particularly hard. This isn’t news, but with COVID-19 and mass layoffs, grocery and food industry workers, as well as other essential workers, have seen an escalated attack—and the results have been deadly. Employees at Amazon and other companies have come down with, and died from contracting the virus, yet “business as usual” has continued in warehouses, grocery stores, and other workplaces. Most of these workers are forced to work without protective gear and are being denied the hazard pay they deserve, sick leave, and even basic workplace cleaning supplies. It’s unconscionable, and workers are organizing to fight back. Some are even walking off the job or threatening to—in meatpacking plants, medical facilities, and in public transportation—to protect their and their families’ lives as CEOs have refused take their concerns seriously. Disgustingly, Amazon has also fired individual workers who have spoken out about unsafe, unfair, working conditions, in retaliation.
Today, to honor May Day and show solidarity, the CLDC calls upon all of our friends to honor the demands of all striking workers, including those at Amazon, Whole Foods, Walmart, FedEx, Target, and Instacart, among others. None of us can afford to support corporations that put workers’ lives at risk, and we have to remember that all of us are victims of capitalists’ greed and any one of us is vulnerable when we don’t stand together. This May Day we should seize the moment for our collective benefit and keep the original, militant spirit of May Day alive. Do not cross the picket line, and together we can win the better world we deserve.