Happy International Workers’ Day to all you toilers out there.
According to my grandfather it’s the most important day of the year; and I spend it with him almost every year too. Sometimes we march, sometimes we don’t…he has bad legs now. Every May Day he tells me great stories from when he was in the labor movement. His father used to walk 50 kilometers each way to go to union meetings in the city. They were both working in the national railroad company. And the key words are always…solidarity with those who have less, a modest way of living and support the union and labor movement. I try to keep the tradition alive.
Sous les pavés, la plage!
As a union staff and labor activist and organizer, I’m happy to see this greeting.
The labor movements, or more precisely, all kinds of social movements are weak in Taiwan comparing to many other countries, for decades of right-wing government and brainwash. The tradition event of Labor Day in Taiwan is many ceremonies for “model workers", as a gesture to praise the modest workers. It has nothing to do with the labor movement. Different unions and labor organizations do have rallies sometimes, though.
We don’t have a real collective rally this year, but there were some protests against the lift of minimum wage announced by the government, for it is still too small and unjust. Also, there was a successful rally from the Chunghwa Telecom Workers’ Union (CTWU) this afternoon. The management of Chunghwa Telecom Co. (CHT), a former state corporation, threaten and forced more than 1,500 workers to retire early for downsizing to please foreign investors. CTWU was forced to stage the rally and demand to oust Hochen Dan, the CEO of CHT. CTWU successfully mobilized more than 5,000 members to join the rally and show its strength.
CTWU is not successful for its demands yet, but we believe it would hold on and fight.
You can take a glance about the rally on this album of mine.
Under the threat of neo-liberalism, the work is becoming more and more flexible, the livelihood of the workers worse and worse, and the power of the unions smaller and smaller, it is not really a happy moment to cheer about.
But hang on comrades, brothers and sisters, keep on struggling and fighting, so we survive.
Solidarity with all workers from all profession in all around the world!
960501-中華電信工會五一大遊行/ Labor Day Rally of CTWU, May 1, 2007