May Day 2006
By WILL LAMBERT
President Oakville & District Labour Council
Chairperson CAW Local 1256 –Transit Workers – Canada
From the Editorial Board of Northstar Compass and from the Executive Committee of the International Council for Friendship and Solidarity with Soviet People, we proudly salute the International ranks of the world’s working class! We share the common struggles that characterize our daily lives with unrelenting conviction for the truest freedom and emancipation for all of humankind. We do also humbly acknowledge those that toil with body and brain; our beliefs become fused as one, with unconditional loyalty for a world advanced beyond exploitation, plunder and war.
Workers throughout North America and beyond have developed defence-based organizations for collective security and benefit. The Trade Union movement has long been seen as the sheer counterweight within the capitalist market economy that enables improved economic and social conditions for both skilled and unskilled workers. The Marxist influence that gave initial rise for the formation of industrial trade unions was of no coincidence. Harsh period of great poverty and joblessness throughout the "Great Depression" and thereafter, tested the resolve of workers to either accept a crushing defeat, deprivation and death or a path beyond. This was not so long ago in the annals of time, and this example is of a shining significance for all of us to reflect upon in very practical terms today.
As we find the world struck against American based Global Corporate rule, we see trends that both inspire us and startle us with vast contrast. In Latin America, the popular support strengthening mass rejection of this Neo-Liberal agenda has made us all stand up and cheer!!
The working class, with all of its revolutionary zeal, have been guided by Leaders that live up to the challenges of this epoch. But, just as we begin to see a return to social advances for humanity in this region, we see the self-asserted defeat practiced by the present Trade Union Labour Leaders in Canada. The mobility of capital without any regulation designed to curb all of the corporate determinations, has threatened the Industrial working class in Canada, creating desperation and misdirection within the Labour movement. The same practically is the case in most of the capitalist countries.
We have witnessed Labour advocacy for great public sums offered as welfare to profit-making enterprises, with the notion that this may somehow halt retracting investments and jobs. We have also seen a shift of political support, historically made for the Social Democrats, who are now propping up corporate based politics that espouse the virtue of trade agreements that underwrite the method of our own de-industrialization.
With the current period seemingly appearing to be bleak, we really only suffer a stinted and confounded administrative leadership, atop many of the main Trade Unions in Canada. The vast membership has been, and is beginning to stir and bring focus to such poorly devised trade union leadership designs. These must be the building blocks for a renewal of class-oriented clarity of those that must also challenge and change the economic and political orientation in the highest Trade Union offices in Canada.
And finally, the practical work can be achieved in trade unions all over the world by all the militants, all revolutionaries, by all socialists and communists, will be better tested by truth and merit. Just as the role to act as perceived intermediary between workers and the corporate structures managers has withered; the ability to relegate the next generation of leaders has to begin to die. Our future has to be our shared collective hopes only, if we are fully prepared to make it so!
Happy May Day to the dedicated readers of NSC, and Happy May Day to all workers of the world!
WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
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