ITUC May Day Statement

Tame corporate power – reduce inequality

Building Workers’ Power is vital to drive economic, industrial and social transformation. The international system today is heavily stacked against workers and their families, and governments are increasingly cowered by big finance and big business.

A tiny proportion of the world’s population holds vast power and wealth, while millions upon millions of people have no job or work in precarious and exploitative conditions for little reward.

Corporate power must be tamed at home and through their international operations and supply chains. It is working people, together, who hold the key to a future of common and sustainable prosperity.

Workers will mobilise in their workplaces and in the streets on 1st May across the world, many of them standing up to repression of their fundamental rights to freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

The new ITUC roll call ( http://congress2014.ituc-csi.org/worst-boss-poll?lang=en#.U2C7Tlfuwsg ) names and shames nine CEOs whose greed is matched only by their indifference to the plight of employees, and others who put their trust (and money) in them. Voting for the ‘Worst Boss in the World’’ opens on May Day with the ‘winner’ announced at the ITUC World Congress in Berlin.

May Day is a time to celebrate the historic values and achievements of trade unions. It is also a time reaffirm our commitment to organise workers everywhere and support their fights for:

- freedom of association and collective bargaining;
- minimum wages on which workers can live;
- universal social protection; and
- safe, healthy and sustainable jobs.

Unions are organising globally to transform the model of trade that allows exploitative supply chains that deny fundamental rights, impoverish workers and their communities and profit from unsafe workplaces.

We will maintain our fight for fairness in world trade, and fight back against corporations that demand the right to sue governments that stand up for workers’ rights and environmental standards.

The global trade union family will carry forward this struggle. Meeting in Berlin this month, the ITUC Congress will chart a course, built on the experiences and struggles from local union action through to global campaigns, to Build Workers’ Power to shape a better future for all.

Add your voice – vote for the ‘World’s Worst CEO’ in the ITUC competition. http://congress2014.ituc-csi.org/worst-boss-poll?lang=en#.U2C7Tlfuwsg

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 02 04 or +32 476 621 018

Photo: Hassam el Hamalawy