Another unusual labour day. This year we might be better equipped to bring online celebrations to workers but too many current challenges haven’t been solved, yet.
Historically and in practice, it was always the collective action that brought rights and positive results for workers. The labour day might seem a relic from the past, but today we should all reflect on how we got through the year full of lockdowns, re-openings and sometimes absurd and frustrating restrictions.
It is us, the workers, not the CEOs who carry us through the pandemic. Today it is important to celebrate our achievement and also the achievements of the Trade Unions that fought hard to put in place measures bringing some form of relief to the hard-hit working class across Europe.
Too many of us are in precarious jobs where our rights are limited or completely disregarded. Too many skilled workers are forced to accept jobs that are not corresponding to their level of education or interests. And too many of those workers are forced to leave their countries and families, to get a paycheck in another country.
Our answer to these workers has to be European, collective and based on solidarity.
Young workers are particularly affected by the pandemic and while the political discourse from left to right recognizes the scarring effect this will have on our generation, the policy response has been very poor.
In the shadow of huge and constantly rising inequalities between the Member states, European leaders will gather in Social Summit next week. They have the responsibility to go beyond the declarations and agree on international actions and real solutions for workers.
The familiar measures such as short term and zero-hours contracts did not work in the recovery period in 2013 and they will surely not work now. We need quality standards for jobs and we need to stop financing precarity in the name of lowering unemployment numbers.
We need strong public investments centred around well being of citizens and for this, we have to stop considering growth as the ultimate indicator and instead strengthen social dialogue and empower those who got us here – workers!
So today, do not be shy and join the celebration!!! This is your day too.
Tomorrow join the collective action, join the trade union, and join the fight so the workers get what they and what you deserve.