Public Services International (PSI) May Day Statement

As a member of PSI, Union Syndicale Fédérale expresses its support for the workers’ movement. In relaying this statement, we recall that solidarity is essential in these times of pandemic and upheaval of working conditions for all workers.

On May Day, we celebrate both public service workers who in the face of Covid-19 have proved to be more essential than ever, and all those who serve our communities and build the real economy. It is from this fertile ground that the post-pandemic economy must flourish, with workers’ rights at its core, not from corporate greed or financial speculation.

On this May Day 2021, we want to stress that reaffirming the trade union movement commitments to labour rights and the defence of jobs risks to be simply rhetoric if we do not tackle the root causes of the injustice that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

One year into the pandemic and we are back to business as usual. A public health emergency becomes a private profit opportunity for Big Pharma. One health worker dying every 30 minutes becomes just a number in the narrative that depicts them as heroes. Governments who had promised to fight for more tax transparency to collect funds to rebuild public services now turn a blind eye and conspire behind our backs to reduce our wages and work.

When the pandemic started, for a brief moment, we felt we might be before a lifetime opportunity for humankind as a whole – and maybe we still are. But after 3 million deaths and with more than 250 million jobs lost last year, what we see, at least for now, is quite the opposite.

The pandemic exacerbated inequality and made it much more visible. It also exposed to the naked eye the dominance of the Global North in economic and policy-making processes and how that is used to support corporate interests particularly to the detriment of developing countries.

Interested in reading the rest of Public Services International (PSI) May Day statement? It is here!