International Workers’ Day 2021: Demanding more support for our front-line heroes and a just recovery

On May Day 2021, CUPE Saskatchewan stands in solidarity with workers and their unions around the world in the demand to turn appreciation for our front-line heroes and all the workers who build the real economy into greater action. The fight against the coronavirus demands that employers and governments take care of the workers who are taking care of all of us and our communities. A recovery from the pandemic must not go back to the way things were, but the structural change long overdue for greater economic, social, and climate justice.

One year into the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of strong public services and the workers who provide them. While workers have stepped up to deliver the services on which we rely, employers and governments have been slow to act on providing the safety protections and support workers deserve. Too many workers are getting ill at work and losing their lives because of their jobs, as faster-spreading variants pose new danger. Too many workers are still without access to paid sick days. Too many workers are still without a living wage and retirement security. The pandemic has exposed long-standing inequalities that must now be redressed. It has also exposed the failure of handing over public services such as long-term care to privatization and for-profit companies, which we must now demand be fixed by making long-term care part of our public universal health care system.

May Day is a time to reflect on the power of workers’ solidarity and how, through unions, workers have fought and won hard, enduring struggles to establish collective bargaining and democracy in the workplace to bring decency, fairness, and safety standards to our work. It is a day to draw inspiration from the historical struggle through workers’ solidary for the regulation of work hours with the eight-hour workday and adequate time for rest. It is a day to reflect on the power of solidarity to resist privatization, defend workers’ rights, and demand social, economic, and climate justice. It is a day to resolve to do much more, together.

On this May Day, we commit not just to fighting back against the coronavirus to keep our communities safe, but also to pushing forward for structural change in our workplaces and society with robust public services and fairness for all.

International solidarity deepens our power as workers to demand action on the change we wish to see, connecting the struggles for labour rights and economic justice with the struggles for racial justice, migrant justice, and climate justice.

Solidarity with all workers from CUPE Saskatchewan!

Published by the Division Office / N.M. COPE 342