At the initiative of the Thozhilalar Ottrumai Iyakkam (Workers Unity Movement), many trade unions and organizations came together to celebrate May Day in Chennai. These included VHS Hospital workers union, Air India United Workers Union, Puratchigara Makkal Pasarai, Tamilnadu Revolutionary Workers Union, Unorganized Workers Federation, Lok Raj Sangathan, Workers Livelihood Union, All India Loco Running Staff Association, Dakshin Railway Employees Union, Indian Republican Workers Trade Union and other unions. The Workers Unity movement brought out a Mayday leaflet on the occasion, which was widely distributed amongst the workers in factories, hospitals and industrial estates.
Trade Unions and Organizations that have come together under the banner of the Workers Unity Movement held a demonstration at Guindy Industrial Estate in Chennai on the morning of Mayday. Stage was decorated with red flags and militant slogans “An attack on one, is an attack on all”, “Workers, Peasants, Women and Youth - We constitute India and we are her masters!” Com. Bhaskar and Com Hameed, Com. S. Manidasan - General Secretary of VHS Hospital workers Union, Com. Kalandurai of Puratchikara Makkal Pasarai, Com PT Shanmugasundaram and Com Rajkumar of Tamilnadu Revolutionary workers Union, Com. K. Velayudham of Construction Workers Union, Com Subramani of UTUC, Advocate Venkatesan, were some of the people who addressed the gathering.
Speakers pointed out that even in large scale industries and factories, workers are deprived of their rights such as PF, ESI, Pension and other benefits. Rights such as 8 hours of work which we have won after many militant struggles are crushed underfoot by the capitalists and their government. Permanent workers are being cut down and replaced by casual and contract workers without any security for their jobs and rights.
Speakers stressed the need for the workers to unite and intensify their struggle. As we fight for our rights and livelihood, we should also fight to end this system of exploitation and oppression. If we want to defend the rights of workers or to end exploitation and oppression, working class needs political power in its hands. Unity of all workers and defeating all efforts to break our precious unity are extremely important.