People Before Profit will join trade unionists and social justice campaigners at the Derry Trades Union Council May Day rally and march on Saturday to mark international workers day.
The socialist movement established May Day in the 1890s following the victorious all-out strike in Chicago for the eight hour day.
Today, corporation tax cut boosters and the Chamber of Commerce work tirelessly for the ‘business community’ while the onslaught against trades unions, the public sector and public services continues. Poverty wages, foodbanks, fuel poverty, benefit cuts and lack of access to housing has become the norm for far too many of all backgrounds and communities here in Derry.
Nationalist and Unionist parties pay regular lip service to deprivation in Derry but their Stormont policies over the twenty years since the GFA allowed for the destruction of the health service and continued on with the historic neglect of the North West. The fact they never bothered to utilise devolved legislative powers to undo Thatcher’s anti-trade union laws here is proof positive of where their priorities lie.
People power movements in the past delivered living wages, public services and empowered working class communities. 1968 in Derry is one powerful example. To address out of control inequality today, we need a return to the type of trade unionism espoused by Jim Larkin and James Connolly, two of Ireland’s great socialist labour leaders. Both now receive official homage but were opposed by the political establishment and moderates in their day. Unfortunately, this approach has been long abandoned by much of the trade union officialdom across Ireland.
Whether poverty, the right to choose or environmental destruction, a new generation is learning the demand for justice can only be won through struggle. People Before Profit will continue to work to bring our divided working class communities together for a new Civil Rights movement North and South to rid the entire country of economic deprivation and to win rights and justice for all.