1st may 2021. Kathmandu.
May Day Greetings
Today is May 1 or 132nd International Workers’ Day, May Day! Our glorious organisation All Nepal Federation of Trade Unions (ANTUF), like workers of the world, is celebrating this special day in the midst of corona pandemic. This workers’ movement which started in Chicago, USA, in 1886 with the slogan “8 Hours Work, 8 Hours Rest, and 8 Hours Entertainment” faced brutal suppression by the then rulers. But the workers fought back and won to celebrate it till date. As the world is celebrating it today, our organisation at first would like to express heartfelt condolences to those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19, and wishes for speedy recovery of those people who are in treatment at hospitals, quarantine and home isolation.
As we are celebrating to mark this day when the workers obtained their rights for the first time, we cannot forget how they fought bravely even sacrificing their lives in the dire conditions of having to work 18-20 hours painfully as a machine and succeeded in their movement. This has inspired workers of the world and given the message with new energy that revolution is essential to obtain workers’ fundamental rights. Today, there has been a big change in the world labour market where machines are replacing workers. With advances in technology, production can be increased through less manual work. ANTUF has taken this seriously as regards future of Nepali workers and trade union movement. Whether in favourable or unfavourable situation, Industries and factories are being added but rights and facilities along with labour and employment of the working class are being cut. In addition, COVID-19 has created more problems in worker’s daily life.
Our organisation appeals to employers and stakeholders to stop immediately firing of workers in the name of COVID-19 and misusing the worker-unfriendly provision 145 of labour law. We also appeal to provide relief package, fully implement contribution based social security, and not to be irresponsible to increase workers’ minimum wage as per the increasing market prices and workers’ purchasing power. Let us all workers unite to fight against regressive, opportunistic, and consumerist tendencies with working class thinking and behavior to make the slogan “Workers of the World, Unite!” successful in practice. Let us take the revolutionary workers’ movement forward. I appeal and wish for bright future of the working class.
Jagat Bdr Simkhada