Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/484/2334
Socialist solidarity on May Day
THE SOCIALIST sends May Day greetings to all our readers. We have received a record number of greetings this year; many of them are printed in this special 16-page issue of the socialist. Every year, as is traditional in the labour movement, we print May Day greetings to show the solidarity among people fighting for better living standards and a socialist future.
The socialist is not funded by big-business advertising, so the £1,800 we have received for May Day messages helps us to continue to report the struggles of working-class and young people in Britain and around the world.
Since the late 19th century, 1 May has been a day of worldwide working-class solidarity. In 1885, a US trade union, the Knights of Labour, planned rallies and demonstrations for the following May.
On 1 May 1886, the first US-wide general strike took place, with 500,000 workers taking part, with the aim of an eight-hour working day. As a result, tens of thousands of workers had their working hours substantially reduced, many winning an eight-hour day without loss of pay.
Not all employers were prepared to cut hours though. One Chicago company for example, the International Harvesters, used armed police to break through a picket line. Several workers were killed.
Growing from the solidarity with those trade unionists, 1 May - International Workers' Day - is now a day of international celebration and commemoration of working-class struggles. On May Day we also look forward to future victories and reaffirm our fight for a socialist world based on co-operation rather than ruthless competition for profit and power.
In The Socialist 26 April 2007:
Socialist Party election analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news