by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
New Masses, May 6, 1941
“Primo Maggio, il sole dell’ Avvenire” – May First, the sun of tomorrow! as our Italian comrades so beautifully it, is here again. It links ancient traditions, these modern times, and the future. Always a people’s natural holiday, since time immemorial it was the occasion for the gathering of the poor and lowly for one gala day of festivity. For the last fifty-five years it has been universally recognized and cherished by workers around the world as an International Labor Holiday. It is actually the only holiday celebrated internationally. It obliterates all differences of race, creed, color, and nationality. It celebrates the brotherhood of all workers everywhere. It crosses all national boundaries, it transcends all language barriers, it ignores all religious differences. It makes sharp and clear, around the world, the impassable chasm between all workers and all exploiters. It is the day when the class struggle in its most militant significance is reaffirmed by every conscious worker.Read More »
Countercurrents.org | April 30, 2017
One hundred years ago, the proletariat in Petrograd celebrated the historic May Day in jubilation and honor. “Thousands of people turned out for the 1917 May Day parade. They carried […] banners and posters, which became the main elements of the decorations in Petrograd.” (Natalia Murray, “Feast in a time of plague, May Day celebrations of 1917-1918”, Baltic Worlds, vol. VI, no. 1, April 2013, Sodertorn University, Sweden)
“One of the leading artists of the World of Art movement, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, wrote, ‘[W]e have witnessed the birth of a new era: on the First of May we artists finally took our revolutionary banners out onto the streets […]!’” (Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, “Bomba ili khlopushka: Razgovor mezhdu dvumia khudozhnikami”, “A bomb or a firecracker: a conversation between two artists”, Novaia Zhizn, no. 83, 1918-05-04, quoted in Murray, op. cit.)Read More »
by Alfred Hayes
New Masses, May 1934
Into the streets May First!
Into the roaring Square!
Shake the midtown towers!
Shatter the downtown air!
Come with a storm of banners,
Come with an earthquake tread,
Bells, hurl out of your belfries,
Red flag, leap out your red!
Out of the shops and factories,
Up with the sickle and hammer,
Comrades, these are our tools,
A song and a banner!
Roll song, from the sea of our hearts,
Banner, leap and be free;
Song and banner together,
Down with the bourgeoisie!
Sweep the big city, march forward,
The day is a barricade;
We hurl the bright bomb of the sun,
The moon like a hand grenade.
Pour forth like a second flood!
Thunder the alps of the air!
Subways are roaring our millions –
Comrades, into the square!
Held in Cleveland, Ohio
November 21, 22, 23, 24, 1882
Third Day – Afternoon Session
Eight-Hour Work Day
The eight-hour declaration of the Chicago Trades Assembly being next in order that document was read by the Secretary as follows:Read More »
People’s World | April 28, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Il. – On Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered for a rally at the state capital to lobby the Illinois House of Representatives to raise the minimum wage to $15. The action was led by a multi-generational coalition consisting of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Illinois Alliance of Retired Americans(IL-ARA), Steel Workers Organizing Active Retirees, Nabisco 600 and many others.
Raising the minimum wage would impact the wages of a diverse swath of industries including fast food and home care workers. In Chicago, the current minimum wage is $10.50 and will steadily increase until 2019 until it reaches $13 an hour. However, the rest of the state’s workers labor under a minimum wage of only $8.25 an hour.Read More »
by LARRY RUBIN AND MARK GRUENBERG
People’s World | April 28, 2014
The right wingers who have captured North Carolina’s legislature are pushing to make the state’s anti-union, so-called “right to work” (RTW), law a part of the state constitution, which would make it more difficult to get rid of in the future.
North Carolina is just 3 percent unionized, the second lowest union density state in the nation. The state with the lowest percentage of union workers is South Carolina.Read More »