Friday, April 19, 2013

Each year the world of work observes universally its main holiday, the International Day of Workers’ Solidarity.

This year’s May Day will be the first to be marked after the GCTU 7th Congress, at which the affiliates of the Confederation outlined the guidelines for their common struggle to protect workers’ rights in the forthcoming five-year period. These include decent work for all, poverty reduction, higher employment rates, equitable income distribution, the defence of human rights and trade union freedoms, gender equality, and the protection of the interests of workers, pensioners, students and unemployed women.

Our countries have largely been through with the most difficult phase of the global financial and economic crisis. However, forecasts for this year indicate that the crisis will still be influencing the socio-economic situation in all parts of the world. In our region, its consequences have manifested themselves in the growing unemployment, especially among young people, the rising poverty of working people, the increasingly heavy tax and payment burdens, and the aggravating problems of labour migration. All this paves the way for violations of workers’ and trade union rights by authorities and employers, both at national level and in TNCs. Consequently, mass discontent and social tensions are building up in the countries of the region, which requires a new mobilisation by trade unions to protect the workers’ interests and enhance social dialogue.

The Council of the General Confederation of Trade Unions calls on all the GCTU affiliates to mark this May Day on a broad scale under the slogans and demands that are the most pressing for workers in their respective countries or industries. Let us say together:
- Yes to job-rich economic recovery!
- No to growing unemployment and enterprise closures!
- Yes to decent work and productive employment!
- No to the impoverishment of working people!
- Yes to high pay ensuring decent lives for workers!
- Yes to minimum pay not less than the subsistence minimum!
- No to outside interference in trade union activities!
- Yes to the respect of workers’ and unions’ rights, the observance of ILO conventions and other international labour law instruments!

We are confident this May Day campaign will be a worthy contribution to the fight of trade unions for social progress in our countries, and for better living and working conditions for our peoples.

Moscow, 5 April 2013