Sunday, 1 May 2011

May Day Greetings

The May Day in Glasgow brought together trade unionists and campaigners to celebrate the achievements of the Workers, and to stand up together against public sector cuts. The messages from the speakers at the rally were that we must defend against the cuts and privatisation. The need for restructuring of the tax system so big business and the wealthy pay more was highlighted.

In 1978, May Day was only enshrined in law as an extra day's holiday for all workers in the UK. It remains a long standing demand of organised labour movement and is closely associated with the International Workers Day. In 80 countries across the world the day is a holiday in law. Each year there are demonstrations and rallies in support of workers across the world.

The UK Government is threatening to replace it with another holiday in England and Wales. The decisions on bank holidays are devolved matters. Currently, there is an option to celebrate St. George's Day in England, St. David's Day in Wales, or the anniversary of the bloody battle of Trafalgar on 21 October. There is a coordinated effort amongst trade unionists to ensure that we keep the May Day flag flying across the UK.

During the rally, films were shown and the experience of cuts in benefits on disabled people was illustrated through "The Broadest Shoulders", featuring disabled people protesting at a recent conference for the Liberal Democrats.

I give my support for UK action to increase corporate transparency and tackle tax avoidance including through the use of criminal sanctions. I believe in the campaign for the introduction of a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on financial transactions that could raise billions of pounds in revenue globally.

Useful Links:

The broadest shoulders? - How cuts in benefits will affect disabled people -

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