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Celebrating workers’ enduring struggle for rights, equality, dignity

On International Workers’ Day, we celebrate the struggles of workers and the victories that gave us our rights.

The Covid-19 pandemic, on top  of years of right-wing and neoliberal attacks  on  the historic achievements of working people and trade unions has not stifled the determination of the movement.

The Left in the European Parliament reaffirms its commitment to defending the rights and dignity of workers, advancing  the workers’ struggles of our times, among them the demand for recognition of platform workers, the fight against inequalities and discrimination, and the defence of collective bargaining systems.

“On this May Day, I dedicate a special thought to the workers paying a high price for the crisis: the hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs, those working in very difficult conditions or who have fallen into poverty,” said Manon Aubry, co-president of the Left group.

“The health crisis is coupled with one of the worst social crises of our history. Our group is therefore proposing that the European Parliament declares a social emergency, in the same way it has declared a climate emergency.

“In this context, we must be vigilant to defend workers’ rights as some governments try to push their neoliberal agenda. The Left will keep fighting to protect and reinforce workers’ rights with new laws against social dumping and precarious employment such as platform workers,” Aubry said.

Co-president Martin Schirdewan said that the pandemic must not be used as an excuse to erode workers’ rights:

“We celebrate the heroic achievements of workers and their struggles. In the European Parliament, we are fighting back against corporate lobby attempts to erode protection for workers and deregulate the labour market.

“The pandemic has laid bare the deep fractures in our societies. The rich are getting richer while frontline workers, poorly paid and precarious, have bore the brunt of this pandemic. One key lesson from the unfolding crisis is that social rights must be front and centre in the EU. We cannot accept any longer an EU that is subservient to multinational corporations and private interests,” Schirdewan concluded.

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