All across the world, workers held protest marches and rallies on May 1, 2022, the day which marks the unity of the international proletariat in struggle for their rights, against capitalism and the rule of the bourgeoisie. Clashes with armed police took place in some countries, including Turkey.
Through banners, posters and militant slogans, workers expressed their anger at the growing unemployment and soaring prices of essential commodities. They denounced the increasing domination of monopoly capitalist corporations over all spheres of the economy and the cutbacks in social services. They condemned the suppression of mass protest under various pretexts, including the pretext of fighting the covid virus. They raised their voices against militarisation and imperialist wars, and against racism, communalism and all forms of discrimination and oppression. They expressed their solidarity with workers of all other countries, in their struggle against capitalist exploitation, imperialist domination, national oppression and war.
In India, thousands of protest demonstrations, rallies and celebrations were organised in different parts of the country this year. Workers participated in joint actions in which all unions participated, rising above differences in party and federation affiliation. Participants in the May Day actions included workers of Indian Railways, road transport corporations, shipping, port and docks, state electricity boards, banks, insurance companies, auto industry, textile and garment industries, defence manufacturing units, hospitals, public health schemes, universities, colleges and schools.
Spokespersons of workers’ organisations condemned the blatant sell-out of precious public assets to private companies, Indian and foreign, under the banner of privatisation, disinvestment and public-private partnership. They denounced the four Labour Codes which have been enacted to deprive workers of their rights and facilitate further intensification of their exploitation. They demanded an end to the widespread practice of hiring on short-term contracts with no recognition of workers’ rights. They condemned the state-organised communal violence being unleashed in different parts of the country and warned the workers to remain vigilant and defend their fighting unity as one class.
In New Delhi, workers of all major trade unions and federations participated in a joint May Day march through the crowded streets of the Old City, starting from Ram Lila Maidan and concluding with a public meeting at the Town Hall. The march was enthusiastically greeted by the people living in Old Delhi. The march and rally were jointly organised by All-India Trade Union Centre (AITUC), Mazdoor Ekta Committee (MEC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All-India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), All-India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), United Trade Union Congress (UTUC), Indian Council of Trade Unions (ICTU), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and Labour Progressive Federation (LPF).
Kisan unions extended their wholehearted support to the May Day actions of the workers this year.
Photographs below show the mood of workers on May Day 2022.