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From the Halifax May Day committe to suporting striking workers

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

The year was 2006, maybe it was 2005, but I am fairly sure it was 2006, the city was Halifax and it was late April,a few days before May Day. At the time I was living at a newly organized punk house that we called the Woozely Farm when we recieved a geust who was from Winnipeg. This young lady who was visiting us was appalled when she heard that there was nothing happening for May Day, no event, not even an organization dedicated to International Workers Day. Both my upringing in Cape Breton, an Island steeped in working class militance and my  passion for working towards progessive social change were major reasons why I quickly got behind the idea that this young lady had of calling a May Day rally. After some quick calls,emails and speading the word to friends and allies, the big day Came and a dozen or so members of the working class came out to celebrate May Day at Victoria Park

It was Deemed a sucess by those who were their. Some of the older workers who attened said it was the first May Day Rally they could remember being held in Halifax since the mid 1970's.

When May Day came around the next year, with alot of hard work we organized and our numbers more then doubled to about 30. Not only did our numbers double, our message about the importance of May Day was being spead across the city of Halifax. After our rally on that second year, a good friend and comrade suggested that we form a group to focus on bringing May Day as a workers day, back to the streets of Halifax. This was the founding of a group called the Halifax May Day Committee.

The first May Day events we organized under the banner of the Halifax May Day Committee along with our allies in the social justic movement and labor movement, was small. The core of the workers who showed up were youth who identified with punk and anarchism. We not only had a rally that year but we had a march that took us to the North branch Lybrary. There we had booked the community room to have a workers forum complete with a speech by myself, a movie about working class issues and a pot luc. No workers gathering is complete with out good food.

May 1st 2011 Was the last year that the Halifax May Day Committee organized the May Day event. it was a sucessful event that saw over 200 people come out. Since the May Day Committee disbanded, May Day has been taken up by a combination of groups and individuals in Halifax from occupy to the Halifax District labor council.

May Day is a day where we can come together to remember the sacrifices that workers have made in the past and it is a day we can use to organize to keep our eys on the pize every day, not just  on May 1st

Since the 2008 orchestrated financial crises, workers have contined to see the vast majority of the wealth they produce go to the 1 %. Since 2008, their has been a concerted effort by corporations and government alike to blame workers for the crises and to attack our standards of living, cut our wages and benifits and destroy our job security.

an injury to one worker is an injury to all. We as a class are only as strong as our weekest link. We as a class need to support one another wheather we are barristas who are being attacked by are employers for signing a union card or we are superstore workers in Alberta who are facing potential cut backs in wages and a loss in Job security. We need to realize that if we do not come together to be a collective unite, then we have already been defeated

On october 6th Superstore and liquorstore workes in Alberta will be going on strike to demand better job protection and job security. The superstore workers in Alberta are being todl to expect a 30-40 percent wage reduction and no increase in job security. As it standsonly 14 percent of superstore and liquore workers are full time. most workers are lucky to recieve 20 hours a week. 20 hours a week is not enough to rais a family on.

UFCW in Alberta has put a call out across this nation, calling on people to participate in a consumer boycott of all bussiness' ownd by loblaws and  Galen Westin. By joing this boycott called by the union that represents the producers of superstore and liquorstore, you will be sending a strong message to the owners of superstore and liquor and that message is that unless you treat the workers with respect, you will not get any bussiness from us.

For years workers have been under attack by corporations and governments who are hellbent on continueing with thier anti-social behavior of union busting, privatization and deregulation

It is not ofent all citizens in Canada have a chance to send a strong message to such an unsrupulous company. Weather it be direct action, civil disobedience or economic sabotage, we all as Canadians need to take a stand and defentd the rights of workers. I for one, am taking a stand. I hope you will join me and together we can tell the corporations across Canada that if they want to do business in Canada then they need to treat the workers with dignity and respect!!!!!!
                                        Sincerely, Aaron Doncaster
 

 

 


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