This May Day, Public Services International restates its determination to defend the fundamental human and trade union rights of public sector workers; and the rights of all citizens to universally accessible quality public services.
May Day 2012 sees public sector workers and our unions locked in an ideological battle to save the livelihoods and the public services so many people value and depend on.
The financial crisis that hit in 2008 is being used as a reason to cut back on public spending, privatise public services and slash public sector jobs, wages and conditions. The reality is that the crisis is now no more than an excuse. The public deficits in whose names services are being destroyed are a consequence of the economic crisis, not a cause. The blind refusal by a majority of governments to look for solutions rooted in job creation and decent work is perpetuating multiple crises. The austerity measures that many governments in the global North are forcing through are all too reminiscent of the structural adjustment programmes imposed on developing countries by the international financial institutions, with dire consequences.
The unprecedented and coordinated global attacks on labour are part and parcel of this ideological train wreck. Freedom of association, collective bargaining and freedom of expression are all under threat. Young people see a future with few prospects for decent work, a fair wage and a decent life. Gender equality is rapidly being consigned to the back seat.
PSI General Secretary Peter Waldorff says, “But we are joining together against these injustices. Ordinary citizens see that a few self-interested, powerful oligarchs – the 1% – are profiting at our expense. We see the growing inequalities that the 1 % is deliberately promoting, in a desperate attempt to cling to and increase their vast wealth. Ordinary citizens see our public services being torn to shreds; and see the hard working people who deliver those services being demonised. And we are saying NO. We are mobilising against these manifest injustices. Mobilising for a better world built on fairness, justice and the respect of human rights.
“As public sector unions we know that public services are the very foundation of just and democratic societies. We know that our fight is the fight of the masses.”
In solidarity lies victory.