Dear workers all around the world
We wish you a Happy May Day although our current conditions under COVID-19 are not so. This year, our May Day comes in one of the worst crises that has ever struck the entire planet that is COVID-19 epidemic. This virus has affected our world, life, work and economy. All economists agree that the global economy is witnessing one of its worst conditions which is much worse than the 2008 crisis. They state that unemployment will dramatically increase in an unprecedented rate. As usual, workers are the weakest strata that suffer from any crisis. At these days of COVID-19 epidemic, workers suffer two sides of struggle. On one side, they have to keep themselves at their houses and workplace as precautious and alert in order not to be infected by the virus. On the other side, they have to keep working fearing that they would be fired from their jobs if they don’t do so. A lot of workers have already lost their jobs out of the general lockdown of businesses especially the unorganized economy.
Our mission at these harsh times is much greater. We should think of creative solutions to force employers to pay their workers’ salaries although they are not working. We have to widespread precautions about safety at work.
We in WFTU have adopted the slogan of this year about the effect of COVID-19 on workers’ lives. We have to raise our workers’ awareness at all levels especially at the social media and direct them to better training solutions even at home at the time of lockdown because today’s challenges are far different from the challenges of the past.
Long Live 1st of May
Long Live WFTU
Dr. Adnan Azzouz, WFTU Regional Director of the Middle East
Damascus, Syria, 1/5/2020