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Home Statement International Workers Day 2023<br>Statement from Migrante Canada

International Workers Day 2023
Statement from Migrante Canada

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International Workers Day 2023<br>Statement from Migrante Canada

It has been 137 years since Chicago workers organized a general strike to demand higher wages and an eight-hour workday. Tens of thousands of workers walked out of their jobs, and the workers’ peaceful protest quickly devolved into a massacre. The workers’ uprising in May 1886 and the attack on them struck a chord with workers all over the world, so we commemorate that day as International Workers’ Day.

Migrante Canada extends warm, militant, and class greetings to all workers and our member organizations across Canada on this May Day to not only celebrate worker gains, but also to remember the sacrifices and struggles of workers throughout history and around the world. Gains in workers’ rights and welfare under capitalism are easily eroded by the state and replaced by anti-worker policies to protect capitalist profits, foreign interests, and ensure industrial peace. Workers continue to bravely demand living wages, safe and decent working conditions, the right to organize, the right to speak, and the right to live decently as human beings and as workers who produce the wealth and services that keep all economies running under capitalism.

Throughout the history of the Filipino diaspora, Filipinos have worked in canning factories and fruit orchards in the United States, sugarcane plantations in Hawaii, and later in garment factories in Canada, hospitals in Europe, on board ships sailing in international waters, construction and related work in the Middle East, as nannies and domestic workers in Asia, and so on.  Their migrant labour contributes to the economic development and growth of their host countries. Migrant workers are valued and recruited for their cheap, accessible labour, which is typically unorganized, hence the phrase “invisible and disposable.”  Because of the labour shortage, low birth rates, and high rates of ageing, the migrant workforce and their labor are indispensable.

The sad reality of a semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippines is that there are no decent jobs with living wages, no industrialization, and thus no jobs to speak of, and no land to work on. Even fishing has become limited and dangerous. Forests and lands are forced to make way for large, foreign-funded dams and mines. As a result, the export of Filipino labour continues to drain the country’s best and brightest.

As migrant workers in Canada, we left our families behind to work abroad. While we organize here to fight for our rights, we also support the call of workers in the Philippines for an across-the-board, nationwide wage increase of Ph 750.00. The noise and energy spent on Charter Change by bureaucrat capitalists in the Senate and Congress, as well as by President Marcos Jr., would be better spent on legislating living wages (House Bill 7568), better services, and better livelihood for workers.

On May Day, we will march as workers in our communities, with unionized workers, workers with no status (also known as undocumented), with precarious workers and non-unionized workers, farm workers, caregivers, international students, refugees and their families, workers on strike and ready to strike, young workers, and with migrant workers from various sectors and countries of origin.

Without workers, the world would come to a halt.

We will march for regularization and status for all in Canada. We will march to let Danilo De Leon, worker leader of Migrante Canada stay. We will march to raise an end to the Philippine government’s Labour Export Policy.  We will march for the right to strike. 

We will raise the banner and proclaim: Migrants’ Rights are Workers’ Rights!

 #SahodItaas #MayoUno2023

Migrante Canada
May 1, 2023