This year millions of workers who would normally participate in May Day events around the world are under lockdown. But even as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc, we are experiencing the greatest display of solidarity in human history.
To make it possible for workers and their unions to celebrate their labor and its value, the International Trade Union Confederation and other global unions are collaborating with LabourStart on a Virtual May Day event. Using Vimeo and Facebook live-streaming, Virtual May Day will allow unions around the world to express their solidarity with each other but especially with those engaged in current struggles for workers’ rights.
“This year, of course, workers face unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis,” said LabourStart Editor Eric Lee. “Celebrating May Day with our usual rallies and marches, as we have done for 130 years, is now impossible. But to pass on May Day this year of all years would be a tragedy. We need all the solidarity and strength that we can give each other.
“By moving May Day online LabourStart and the global unions hope to in some small way make it easier for workers around the world to join forces in celebration and determination.”
The LabourStart/Global Unions Virtual May Day will start at 1 a.m. St. Louis time and run for 12 hours. You can find more details here: labourstart.org/mayday.
Locally, The Illinois Labor History Society will join the Chicago Federation of Labor to host an online celebration of May Day Friday, May 1, at 3 p.m. along with by representatives from UNIFOR, the largest private-sector union of Canada.
You can join the Illinois Labor History Society event online at facebook.com/chicagolabor.
Even if we can’t be together in person, we can join in solidarity online.
The Virtual May Day project is being supported by the global union federations, including Building and Woodworkers International, Education International, IndustriALL, the International Federation of Journalists, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the International Union of Foodworkers, Public Services International, and UNI Global Union.The Virtual May Day is a joint project of LabourStart, the International Trade Union Confederation, Building and Woodworkers International, Education International, IndustriALL, the International Federation of Journalists, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the International Union of Foodworkers, Public Services International, and UNI Global Union.
Organizers have collected videos made especially for May Day from unions on every continent.
Join the celebration and demonstration of solidarity at labourstart.org/mayday.