Today is historic May Day. Every year the day is observed with a renewed pledge to build an exploitation-free society by establishing the rights of toiling masses and working class people.
Over a century ago, this day did not start as good news. It started with a strong cry across what is today called the developed world that, as long as the struggle of the workers against the bourgeoisie and the ruling class continued, and as long as all demands are not met, May Day would continue to be a yearly expression of these demands.
The day’s importance lies in the dreadful times that workers in the United States saw in 1886 when they protested workers’ rights violations, straining work hours, poor working conditions and wages. We must thank them for this and many of the other rights that we now enjoy. But it is also to note that that while most of these have been achieved in the more advanced economies of the world, our workers' hopes to those very rights remain immaterialized
May 1 was chosen to be the International Workers’ Day that signifies the workers’ struggles and their empowerment. The day pays tribute and respect to workers and their contribution towards making our lives easier. A cause close to the heart of many socialists, Communists and the labour movement, May Day celebrates and honours workers and labours around the world.
The celebrations of May Day should
move beyond the routine shows and
seminars to provide a platform for
reflections on labour issues with a view
to resolving the endemic challenges
It is undeniable that the conditions of labours in Bangladesh over the last decade have improved in many aspects and particularly in terms of labour intensive.
The changes have become remarkable especially in the RMG sector but still there are many hundreds of subcontracting factories which are not functioning at par with international standards. There are hundreds of factories that do not provide safe and healthy workplace and do not give minimum wages as per government scale to the labors.
May Day shouldn't merely be a day of observance; we should live up to its original spirit. The celebrations should move beyond the routine shows and parades to provide a platform for reflections on labour issues with a view to resolving the endemic challenges. The spirit of May Day should be all about the need for reforms, claims about the need to intensify the process of helping the workers to be set free from
controlling influence , better pay and the like. Focus should shift from the minimum wage, which has to be addressed anyway, to tackling socio-economic, legal and political issues in labour relations.