May Day! May Day!

International Workers Day, or May Day, occurs annually on May 1st of each year, and has done so for over one hundred years. Though the calls for international revolution have subsided, the role that Socialists and workers’ organizations have played in global history since this celebration began cannot be denied.

            There used to be no unions, no workers’ rights, no right to collectively bargain, and no right to a safe, and healthy work environment. This has dramatically changed, largely for the better. Workers now have the legal right to unionize, collectively bargain with their employer and strike, if they deem it necessary, to guarantee their demands and wishes. Workers’ physical safety is protected with regulations and laws in many countries guaranteeing that there are fire exits, health benefits, and pensions.

Union

            Moreover, the power employers had to fire and dismiss employees at their whim has largely diminished and workers are free to associate with many, if not most political, social, and economic groups without fear of reprisal by their employer.

            This is not to say that everything relating to workers is all well and good, but certainly improvements have been made, largely in response to left-leaning people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Workers and employers of all kinds have these trailblazers to thank for the rights and guarantees they presently enjoy.

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