The World Federation of Trade Unions, the militant, class-oriented voice representing 105 million workers who live, work, and struggle in 133 countries of the 5 continents, honors the 137th anniversary of the struggle of workers in Chicago in 1886 that constituted a lasting milestone of the working class and a bright beacon for the struggles of today and tomorrow for stable work with rights, social security, free public, and universal health and education, and a dignified life.

Nowadays the crisis of capitalism is deepening in the length and breadth of the globe, resulting in the open violation of democratic and trade union rights, the deterioration of working and living conditions, and the dramatic widening of social inequalities, poverty, and exploitation.  Big capital and its political representatives have been using the pretext of the capitalist crisis of all kinds to attack even the most fundamental democratic and trade union rights, like the right to strike, to demonstrate, and to organize. They do whatever they can to transfer the consequences of the crisis to the shoulders of the working class, the pensioners, the farmers, and to the poorer part of the self-employed people.

The uncontrollable increase of prices, especially the prices of essential goods, as well “energy poverty”, is another way to cut salaries and to protect and increase profits resulting in even more poverty and deterioration of the workers’ living standards. The capitalists once again want the peoples and the workers to pay for their crisis. But the workers are not willing to shoulder the bill. This message is loudly and clearly heard from more and more workplaces, from more and more countries.

The WFTU affiliates, in the militant spirit of the recent 18th congress in Rome one year ago, are at the forefront of these struggles, demanding the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the workers at all levels: salary, employment, social security, health care, education, culture. We are strengthening our opposition to  privatization and anti-labour policies. We stand by the side of the struggling female worker, the one who suffers from double exploitation, fighting for equal rights to work, and for equal rights in society and life. In the same direction, we continue our fight in favor of the young who always are the first victims of the capitalist crisis and the migrants who are exploited as cheap workforce. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the vulnerable parts of the working class, demanding dignified income for the under-employed workers, proper jobs for the unemployed, and decent pensions for retired workers. We strengthen our militant actions to ensure all labor rights and freedoms, and ensure the ILO conventions  be implemented in practice instead of being empty words. These struggles are relentlessly and unwaveringly undertaken despite the sharpening of state repression and authoritarianism, unfortunately with the tolerance or even the cooperation of sellout trade union leaders together with yellow unions  aligned with the dictates of capital.

In the aftermath of the pandemic and the economic crisis, the bourgeoisie wants the working class to pay also the price of the imperialist war of the US, NATO, and EU with Russia in Ukraine. We reiterate our firm internationalist solidarity with the suffering peoples.  We demand the end of the war in Ukraine, the elimination of all imperialist wars, the disengagement and dismantling of NATO and all military coalitions, and the abolition of nuclear weapons. We intensify our struggle to ensure the right of peoples to live in peace and to determine freely and independently their present and future.  We fight to stop economic warfare and sanctions as a means of promotion of foreign imperialist interests in sovereign and independent countries. We demand an immediate end to the criminal blockade of  socialist Cuba and the continuous crime against the Palestinian people. Our most powerful weapons are INTERNATIONALISM and SOLIDARITY. No worker must feel alone.

The WFTU on the occasion of 2023 International Workers Day conveys its warm, internationalist, militant, and class greetings to all struggling workers and to all militant trade unions that tirelessly and decisively conduct the daily fight for dignity, for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the working class and the popular strata. We intensify our common actions in every sector, in every country, in every continent, for the emancipation of the working class, to meet our own class interests and needs; against the root cause of poverty, misery, wars, and refugees; to build a just human-centered society with dignified living and working conditions for every human being, a society free of  capitalist barbarity and exploitation.

We call upon all the affiliates and friends of WFTU to honor the International Workers Day under the slogans and banners of the WFTU:

-Internationalist solidarity: the weapon of the working class

-We refuse to pay for their crisis

-Stop imperialist blockades and economic wars