Friday, April 19, 2019
The Executive Committee of the General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU), meeting in Moscow 11 April 2019, calls on the GCTU member organisations, all working people in the Newly Independent States to observe the 1st of May on a wide scale as the Day of International Workers' Solidarity.
This year’s May Day will be held in a turbulent world, characterised by increasing geopolitical tensions, economic instability, outbursts of international terrorism. The armed conflicts have not subsided, while new hotbeds of tension keep emerging, whether in the Middle East, in south-eastern Ukraine, in Venezuela, or on the Indian Subcontinent. Transnational capital and financial markets are still domineering in the global economy, openly ignoring the needs of the real economy and the aspirations of working people.
Against this background, world unemployment has been growing, especially among young people, and informal employment expanding, with the rates of earned incomes and social protection falling down. The basic rights of workers and the principles of social justice are being trampled down. Trade union protests often result in stricter labour legislation and further blatant violation of labour law and international labour standards. Under the pretext of introducing innovative technologies, attempts are being made to impose atypical or precarious forms of employment, undermining the very foundation of the trade union movement. 
Trade unions around the world are earnestly looking for ways out of this plight. We hail the call by the recent ITUC congress to launch a worldwide trade union campaign in order to change radically the nature of the global economy, and build a fundamentally different model of it, where the interests of workers, rather than corporations, would be in the first place. The GCTU and its affiliates support this call and believe that this new model must rest on the principles of decent work and social justice, equal and constructive social dialogue, adherence to universally recognised labour standards and human rights, with strict international control over the activities of TNCs and monetary  institutions.
A complex, troublesome situation has also evolved in the countries of our region that are experiencing, although in varying degrees and for various reasons, difficulties caused by the slowdown in economic growth. Among its unfortunate consequences are the growing inflation and unemployment, the increasingly heavy burden of payments and taxes, including higher prices and rates of electricity, fuel, housing, and utilities. Despite the protests from trade unions, the retirement age is being raised, and wage arrears keep increasing. All this has led to an overall decline in the living standards and the quality of life. The monitoring conducted by the GCTU shows that social stratification and inequality are deepening almost everywhere, and in a number of the region’s countries up to a third of the population languishes below or near the poverty line. In such a situation, there often appears a temptation to bury the principles of the social welfare state, as proclaimed in the constitutions of our countries.
The GCTU member-organisations, like all other trade unions of the world, cannot put up with such a state of things. Regrettably, their struggles do not always bring the desired results. Therefore, to avoid further build-up of social tensions and mass discontent, we need a new and more active mobilisation of the region’s trade unions, and tighter coordination of their efforts in protecting the interests of employees.
On the eve of May Day, the Executive Committee invites all GCTU-affiliated national trade union centres and sectoral Trade Union Internationals, all working  people to mark the 1st of May, 2019 by organising mass events under the umbrella slogans: “Decent work, decent life, social justice!” and “Let us say “No!” to corporate domination! Let us say “Yes!” to solidarity of workers and trade unions!”
We wish all trade unions in the region, from national trade union centres and down to primary organisations, successful struggle for the rights and interests of workers, for the triumph of social justice.
Long live the international solidarity of working people!
Long live the First of May!