In spite of the Police giving Elections as an excuse to refuse permissions for Mayday meetings, workers gathered under their trade unions and held militant Mayday rallies in all factories and work places all over Tamilnadu. Gate meetings were organized by the respective unions at the VHS Hospital – Adyar, at the Chennai airport (Air Corporation Employees Union ACEU, Air India Employees Union), Bhadra Cargo Complex (Bhadra Workers Union), at the Cantonment Board office at St.Thomas Mount (Cantonment Board Employees Union).
Workers belonging to various sectors and industries held joint Mayday rallies in the evening. Thousands of workers took part in these rallies, carrying their red flags and banners putting forward various demands of the workers. Throughout the rally, workers raised militant slogans hailing Mayday and workers unity and denouncing the government and the capitalist parties for their anti-worker policies and attacks on the working people. Mayday meetings were held at the conclusion of the demonstrations.
All speakers stressed the urgent need to strengthen the unity of workers and resist exploitation. Workers raised militant slogans and concluded the meeting.
Representative of Thozhilalar Ottrumai Iyakkam (Workers’ Unity Movement) took part in many of the gate meetings and in the rally. He pointed out that, today, the vast majority of workers are denied their most basic rights - to job security, to form unions of their choice in many of the new sectors, to fair wages in line with the rising cost of living, etc. Government has amended the labour laws and introduced newer ones to intensify the exploitation and further curtail the rights of workers. It is a fact that in the last 70 years of independent India, parties which came to power have worked to serve the capitalists. He asked, why should we workers keep running behind these parties of the big capitalists with the illusion that our demands would be fulfilled? We the workers, produce all the wealth of India. Why can’t we ourselves become the rulers of India to put an end to this ruthless exploitation and oppression and build a new society which can ensure prosperity for all working people? On this Mayday, let us work out ways and means by which we, the working people can become the masters of this country.