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1 May Day 2011: Winds of change for social justice and democracy


On the occasion of this year’s International Labour Day on 1st May, Global March supports the theme of “Winds of change for social justice and democracy” by the Global Unions honouring the people of the Arab and North African countries who are rising up for dignity and freedom. May Day 2011 will be held in a context of economic and social crisis, which is increasing inequality and undermining social cohesion.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Global Union Federations (GUFs), which represent workers from all sectors, salute the courage of working men and women and the independent trade unions in the vanguard of this historic fight for freedom. They pledge to support this struggle and condemn without reservation the tyranny of regimes, in the Middle East and elsewhere, who continue to deny their people fundamental rights and who use violence to silence voices of dissent. They urge the international community to act to end this oppression.

They call on all governments to invest in job creation, in education and training, in programmes to strengthen investment in quality public services and in providing a universal social protection floor. The Global Union statement cautions that: “Unless there is an immediate change of direction in governance and management of the world economy, the noble aspirations of the Millennium Development Goals will not be met and there will be no progress to stop the catastrophe of climate change.”

Global March Chairperson Kailash Satyarthi supporting the winds of change sweeping across the Arab and North African countries said: “The determination and courage of ordinary people in these countries have inspired the rest of the world. It is important that governments and the international community take note that prominent among those calling for change are young people, mainly unemployed, and who rightly feel that change is overdue in their countries and that they and future generations have the right to live in dignity and freedom. The fight for democracy, equality and justice begins with education for each and every child, and child-centric development makes up the basic fabric in society and is the core of social change. The future of children has to be prioritised in any political environment through protection and promotion of child rights and development of children and their education, for a cohesive and compassionate society.”

The Global March is built on the premise that trade unions, teachers’ and civil society organisations are key actors in the fight for social change and have vital roles and responsibilities in driving forward the agenda to alleviate poverty, end child labour and ensure education for all. In further acknowledgement of the winds of change blowing through the region, recognising their urgent needs and their vulnerability to child labour and lack of access to good quality education for all, Global March is hosting the first World Assembly of all its members and partners on17-18 October 2011 in Casablanca, Morocco.

May Day 2010