Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

LABOUR DAY THE WORLD OVER EXCEPT IN NORTH AMERICA | May 1, 2009

Since  1894, May 1st. has served as commemoration  to mark workers’ gaining social rights all over the world. Curiously enough, said celebration is held in practically all nations except in the United States of America & Canada, with their own holiday set on the first Monday of September.

 

True to say that labour rights are far from reaching an equilibrium point applicable to any and all workers alike. Each state and government progresses at varying speeds of social achievements and protection for workers in the multiple entrepreneur activities at local, national & international fronts. Far from being eradicated, child labour and women’s discrimination still are practices in vigour in a great number of underdeveloped and developing countries in Africa, Asia & Latin America. Furthermore, the conquests of the Eight-hour A Day Movement that motivated the setting up of the popular May Day (Labour Day) holiday in Britain in the late 18th. Century has not erased completely long working shifts of more than 10 hours per day in developed countries, with the U.S.A. and Canada at the top.

 

Globalisation has further deepened workers’ lack of protection towards a dignified working post and even their health & welfare put in danger. The concept of free-market competitiveness has only set its aim at maximum economic profit with little concern for the means of attaining same. In consequence, it is the weaker members of the international community that bear the load of excessive working hours for minimum retributions.

 

At such times of crisis where even qualified workers are laid off  from traditionally well-paid secure jobs such as those in High-Tech industries, one must consider what is to become of this globalised work environ full of mediocre potential labour competing in unequal terms in countries with increasing unemployment. Going even a step further down, we should attempt to understand the desperate intents of Chicanos  crossing the Río Grande border into supposedly prosperous America or Africans defying the ocean in cayucos  to reach the Spanish and/or Italian coasts of the  European Promise Land.

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If this world in crisis is incapable of understanding that misery & hunger in underdeveloped regions of the world are nurtured with modern-day means of communication such as television & internet to keep them informed of the bounties in other hemispheres, then we have not learnt the basics of human nature and our capacity to fair out even in extreme danger. Perhaps, we may have been blinded by the privileges we have enjoyed thus far without considering that in the meantime others have suffered the backlash of our excesses in the wake of our own economic progress and status-seeking selfishness.

 

The time has come to ponder on the responsibility of each and every citizen of the world in creating a collective conscience towards a true-hearted movement aimed at equal opportunities in attaining a dignified work post and optimum social welfare coverage.

 

This is the challenge for all of us in a world in crisis in this New Millennium.

 

 

 

Madrid, May 1st. 2009      


3 Comments »

  1. 1 May 2009: an ‘ordinary’ Workers’ day in an extraordinary period of crisis

    Today is May the 1st, day on which in many countries the International Workers’ day is celebrated. And, maybe above all for a lot of people, it is public holiday. 1 May being holiday is well known to everybody and also its being workers’ day… but the origin and the meaning of it maybe is less known, at least here in Italy.
    In Italy usually Workers’ Day is celebrated through street demonstrations and concerts in the main cities and today probably it will be the same. An ‘ordinary’ May Day? Maybe not… or at least I hope not. The economic crisis which struck almost every country in the world makes it different and can be a good starting point to think about the meaning of the work itself in our society. I hope at least it will be since I can’t help noticing lots of contradictions…

    http://italianopinionist.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/1-may-2009-an-%e2%80%98ordinary%e2%80%99-workers%e2%80%99-day-in-an-extraordinary-period-of-crisis/

    Comment by italianopinionist — May 1, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

    • Indeed, if we wish to face this crisis, this May Day should not be just another holiday, it should be the time to think what we have done wrong thus far, and what we should do from now on.

      Should you wish to contact us to kbow more about such celebrations, please feel free to do so and I can take you through different stands in different countries where I have lived.

      Comment by fernandofusterfabra — May 1, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

  2. With the Labour Party in crisis in the UK, what’s up next in the crisis list ?

    Comment by R. Sanders — May 5, 2009 @ 3:26 pm


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