Thursday, April 23, 2015
Slightly more than a fortnight is left before May 1 that is celebrated by working people of the entire Earth as the Day of International Workers' Solidarity.
All over the world, including our region, millions of people will take to the streets under trade union banners to take part in demonstrations and marches, rallies and meetings. Together, publicly and jointly, they will once again claim their rights, make their demands on the authorities and employers, identify the priorities for future action, and reiterate their resolution to fight for their interests, and strengthen the unity of the trade union ranks.
The current May Day, as in the previous years, will be marked in an atmosphere of degrading working and living conditions of most people on this planet. One serious consequence of the global economic crisis is the spreading poverty and social insecurity that have hit virtually all segments of the world’s working population. The unprecedented scale of unemployment has become a real scourge to the human race. But even having a job has ceased to be the source of a safe existence. Increasingly often, struggles waged by workers and trade unions against these ills meet with fierce opposition of the authorities and employers, and with further infringement of labour rights and union freedoms.
The countries of GCTU affiliates also share common problems, such as the slackened rates of economic growth, the rising unemployment, especially among young people; the falling real wages, the impoverishment of working people, the heavier burden of taxes and fees and, consequently, a tangible drop in the quality of life. In addition, the socio-economic hardships in the region have been extremely aggravated by the geopolitical tensions that are being whipped up around the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where hostilities kill not only military personnel, but also civilian people, including elderly persons, women and children.
In these circumstances, trade unions of the region need a new and wider mobilisation to prevent a dangerous build-up of social tensions and mass discontent, protect the interests of workers and their families, and strengthen social dialogue as a key means of achieving their goals.
These goals include: decent work for all, reduction of poverty, wage growth outstripping the price rises; raising the level of employment through creating new jobs; equitable distribution of incomes; protection of human rights and trade union freedoms; gender equality, and upholding other socio-economic interests of workers and pensioners, war veterans, students, and unemployed women.
This year’s May Day will be marked only a few days prior to the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, who made a decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazism and the restoration of peace on Earth.
Now that unprecedented attempts are being made to downplay the historical significance of this Victory, slander and question the role of the peoples of the Soviet Union, who made untold sacrifices for the sake of saving humanity from fascist enslavement, trade unions, as mass organisations of workers, must give a resolute rebuff to the falsifiers of history and do their best to stop the resurgence of fascism in any form in our countries or elsewhere in the world. We must also do all we can to win a dignified old age for war veterans and home front workers.
The Council of the General Confederation of Trade Unions, which gathered in Moscow for a regular session 15 April 2015, calls on all GCTU-affiliated national trade union centres and industrial Trade Union Internationals, all trade union organisations, all working people in the region to observe 1 May 2015 on a broad scale as a day of global trade union solidarity by organising mass events under the slogans and demands they believe currently important to their countries or industries.
Let us say together:
  • Decent work & a decent life to every worker!
  • Decent work implies decent wages!
  • Working people must not be poor!
  • Minimum wage is not a survival allowance!
  • Creation of new jobs is the right way to economic growth!
  • Say "Yes!" to compliance with ILO Conventions!
  • Say "No!" to attacks on workers' rights and union freedoms!
  • Dignified, affluent old age for veterans and home front workers of the Great Patriotic War!
  • No wars and violence against civilians!
  • Let the solidarity and united actions of world trade unions grow stronger! 
  • Long live May 1, a Day of International Workers’ Solidarity!
15 April 2015