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May Day

Auto Workers Call on Unions to Align Contract Expirations

By Dan DiMaggio - Labor Notes, November 22, 2023

Is it time for a big, united strike by millions of union members against the billionaire class?

We get pitched this idea sometimes at Labor Notes. Usually we dismiss it as coming from starry-eyed dreamers eager to pass over the hard work of organizing and skip ahead to the “general strike.”

But now the call is coming from a major international union: the United Auto Workers, whose new contracts covering 146,000 workers at the Big 3 are strategically set to expire on May 1, 2028. The union wants others in the labor movement to align their own expirations for that date, setting up a battle with some of the country’s biggest corporations in four-and-a-half years.

“If I could have a dream scenario,” UAW President Shawn Fain told In These Times, “it would be that all of organized labor maps their expiration dates to May 1.”

Big 3 Buckled as Stand-Up Strike Spread

By Dan DiMaggio - Labor Notes, October 31, 2023

All three dominoes fell in a few days.

The Auto Workers (UAW) now have agreements with each of the Big 3 automakers. The new contracts are a sharp about-face from decades of concessions.

The tentative agreements go further than many thought possible on issues that the companies insisted were off the table. Stellantis agreed to reopen its idled Belvidere assembly plant. GM and Stellantis will include new battery plant workers in their master agreements.

While the contracts don’t abolish benefit tiers, they get rid of the many wage tiers the Big 3 had created to drive down pay. Some workers will see their pay more than double as a result.

The gains are a testament to the UAW’s bold, aggressive strategy under its new leadership, which ramped up the strikes, at first slowly and then faster until the companies caved one by one. It was a master class in worker power.

On Monday, the UAW announced it had reached a tentative agreement with General Motors, the last holdout. Workers at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee, Cadillac factory had joined the strike Saturday night.

The union announced tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis last week. The agreements came after UAW members struck at each company’s most profitable truck plant, the latest escalation in the union’s six-week Stand-Up Strike.

The 146,000 UAW members at all three automakers will vote on the contracts in the coming weeks. In the meantime, 50,000 strikers are headed back to work.

Industrial Workers in Australia Are Leading the Fight Against War

By Chris Dite and Arthur Rorris - Jacobin, May 11, 2023

Workers in an industrial trading port in Australia are now at the forefront of the fight against war with China*, demanding that jobs and environmental protections take precedence over militarism.

On May Day, thousands of workers from in and around the industrial trading city of Port Kembla in New South Wales (NSW) rallied against the AUKUS deal. AUKUS will see Australia procure nuclear-powered submarines from the United States, and is designed to counter the rise of China as a global power. To date, this was the biggest demonstration against the pact held anywhere in the world.

AUKUS potentially involves Port Kembla hosting a US nuclear submarine base. This would come at the expense of the region’s developing green energy infrastructure. The protesting workers argued that the current drive to war will endanger the city and imperil the many thousands of union jobs that would be guaranteed by a green transformation.

International media outlets in AUKUS partner countries and China have begun to take notice. The workers of Port Kembla will now prove decisive in shaping not only their own futures, but Australia’s role in the biggest conflict of the era.

Jacobin spoke with Arthur Rorris, secretary of the South Coast Labour Council, to find out how this small city came to take the lead in the fight for jobs and peace.

May Day 2023 Port Kembla

We remain absolutely opposed to the use of nuclear fuels for the generation of electrical energy

Remember the History of May Day

This May Day, We Celebrate Making a Living Wage on a Living Planet

By Bob Muehlenkamp - Third Act, May 1, 2023

On May Day we celebrate worker solidarity in the continuing struggle for fair wages, dignity, and social justice. As part of the climate justice movement, we in Third Act connect climate action with the struggle to create better jobs, change our obscene economic inequality, and fight for racial and gender justice. We know we can’t solve these crises separately or one at a time. We need intersectional solutions. So on this May Day we stand in solidarity with workers in our common struggles.

The history of May Day shows just how common these struggles are.

In the spring of 1886, workers went on strike at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. On May 3rd, as the police protected strike-breakers, they shot and killed one striker and injured others. To protest this police brutality unions held a mass meeting the next day in Haymarket Square in Chicago. After the rally someone, never identified, threw a bomb. Police opened fire on the crowd, injuring 60; 7 police were killed. Three years later, in 1889, unions declared May 1st as May Day, to commemorate the strike and the Haymarket Affair.

Thirteen years later, in 1902, J. P. Morgan (yes, the founder of Chase Bank), in order to stop competition and create a monopoly, and to prevent workers from organizing unions, merged six farm machine companies into International Harvester. By the 1970s, IH was the fourth largest U. S. corporation.

Workers fought for another 39 years to organize a union at IH in 1941. They fought for the next 50 years to make their jobs secure and pay a living wage They went on strike for over 100 days in 1950, 63 days in 1958, 42 days in 1967, l15 days in 1973, 42 days days in 1976, 172 days in 1979, and, 101 years after police killed a striker at Mccormick, 163 days in 1987. That’s how workers and their unions built a middle class against J. P. Morgan’s monopoly. J. P. Morgan and International Harvester didn’t change. They couldn’t. Workers and their union forced them to pay a living wage.

In Largest May Day Turnout Since Pandemic, Workers Around the World March for Better Conditions

By Olivia Rosane - Common Dreams, May 1, 2023

Marches from South Korea to Italy called for higher wages and targeted anti-worker policies.

Workers from Japan to France took to the street on Monday for the largest May Day demonstrations since Covid-19 restrictions pushed people inside three years ago.

Marchers expressed frustration with both their nations' policies—such as French President Emmanuel Macron's raising of the retirement age in March—and global issues like the rising cost of living and the climate crisis.

"The price of everything has increased except for our wages. Increase our minimum wages!" one activist speaking in Seoul told the crowd, as TheAssociated Pressreported. "Reduce our working hours!"

South Korea's protests were the largest in the nation since the pandemic, with organizers predicting 30,000 people each would attend the two biggest rallies planned for the nation's capital alone, Al Jazeerareported.

May Day and Immigrant Workers

By Asa Singer - Industrial Worker, May 1, 2023

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and our sisters
From many far off lands
There is power in a Union

-Billy Bragg, “There Is Power in a Union”

The First of May is a moment to remember who makes society turn. It’s not for condescending politicians to tell us how much they appreciate us, nor for the executives and financiers who own them to throw us a bone of appreciation for our hard work. International Workers’ Day, or May Day, is for the oppressed and exploited working class of all nations, to remember its power, celebrate its gains, mourn its dead, and fight like hell for the living and those yet to come.

It is a day that the mainstream of the American labor movement left aside in favor of a day of barbecuing in September, a marker of when school starts up again and little else. Deprived of its historical force and the memory of those who sacrificed so much for our rights, it fades into the background. If we are ever to have peace on this earth and a society fully unshackled from servitude of one person to another, it will be when the unfulfilled promises of May Day are realized as the core values of a new world, when the working class comes to power and lives in harmony with the Earth.

May Day shot back into the American political consciousness for a time, even if it has yet to fully pierce the mainstream again, in 2006. A draconian immigration measure known as H.R. 4437 (Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005) was debated in the House of Representatives. The bill would have criminalized aid to undocumented immigrants, increased border wall protections, and mandated E-Verify for employers. In response to its debate and passage in the House, undocumented activists mobilized massive waves of protests in major cities all across the United States. After weeks of sustained protests, a massive outpouring culminated on May 1st, 2006 in “El Gran Paro Estadounidense” (Great American Strike), otherwise known as “El día sin inmigrantes” (The Day Without Immigrants).

Climate Justice and Class Struggle: Online Screening Event

By staff - IWW Ireland, May 18, 2022

Climate Justice and Class Struggle: Scheduled Screening to take place HERE on

Tuesday May 24, 2022 @ 1800 hours GMT

Global May Day is a project for grassroots labour unions and initiatives supporting labour struggles to make our work more visible and support each other across borders.

This year we chose to draw attention to the ecological crisis we all face and tilted a series of events around Climate Justice and Class Struggle.

A crisis brought about by the endless search for profit margins by capitalist interests. A crisis which will see wars raging worldwide, making the poorest of us suffer the earliest and most.

The global ecological crisis is an issue for the working class worldwide and already there are many of us engaged in fighting against its impacts in our local areas.

This coming Tuesday May 24, 2022 we will host and online screening of a number on important environmental struggles currently taking place around the world. It is vital that each of these campaigns be highlighted and supported.

To take part in this online screening event as part of the Global May Day events, please tune in online HERE on Tuesday May 24, 2022 at the following time @ 1800hours GMT

To find out more about Global May Day 2022 reports, you can click on the following link HERE




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