The Communists’ message for May Day 2024: Where are the unions

Posted by: John Phoenix

While Assange languishes in prison, the Gaza genocide continues and workers are hit by a cost of living crisis, Britain’s unions are essentially inactive.

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Read the leaflet containing our message to British workers on May Day 2024.

The video above shows footage of our party contingent on the streets of London this May Day and of our pop-up rally in Trafalgar Square, where our speakers made the points that are never allowed to be put forward on the main platform under the control of the Labour-affiliated ‘organising committee’.

We took to the streets on 1 May for the first time in several years, joining the workers of the world in celebrating International Workers’ Day. Featuring banners of Karl Marx and Josef Stalin, of the World Anti-imperialist Platform and in support of the Palestinian resistance, carrying party flags and distributing leaflets as we went, our comrades marched through central London to Trafalgar Square, where we held our own rally featuring party speakers Joti Brar, Nina Kosta and Alex McKay.

Where are the trade unions? This was our central message to the working class of Britain on May Day 2024. Julian Assange is rotting in a British prison, his health declining by the day – and for what? For helping to expose the war crimes committed by our rulers in Iraq and Afghanistan. For doing what any journalist ought to do.

Where are the trade unions? Palestine is enduring a genocide that is being broadcast round the world in real time. Unions ought to be conducting mass campaigns of non-cooperation to render a real assistance to the Palestinians under attack and destroy the ability of British imperialism to keep supporting the zionist massacre.

Where are the trade unions? Child hunger and fuel poverty are at record highs. One quarter of Britain’s children now live in poverty, with millions going to school hungry and returning to a cold home. The cost of living crisis has not gone away, despite repeated assurances from the government and media that inflation is now ‘under control’. Where is the mass campaign to stop our rulers from continuing to pass the burden of their system’s crisis onto our backs?

In every case, the unions are passive, inactive, silent. When pushed, they hide behind the law and claim to be incapable of taking any meaningful action in defence of their members’ interests, either at home or internationally. These institutions no longer even pretend to do what they were set up for (ie, to defend the interests of the working class against the encroachments of capital). We need to overhaul and/or replace them with fighting organisations of the working class.

We need to organise and use our collective power to defend our pay, pensions and conditions of work under conditions of capitalism. And we need to recognise that this struggle on its own, however militantly fought, will not be enough to really solve our problems.

In the end, any gains we are able to wring from the capitalist class will remain inadequate and temporary, subject to reversal at any time, while the system of production for profit remains intact. Only a planned socialist economy can finally do away with the poverty and war that are the inevitable byproducts of the system of capitalist exploitation.



Book: Manifesto for the Crisis: Class Against Class

Leaflet: May Day 2024: Where are the unions?

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