Call of May-Day: Fight to End the Rule by Capital
The workers throughout the world are observing,
the international workers day May-Day-pledging to act
from the inspiration drawn by them from the 1886
incident of May to realize their demands by waging
struggles against capitalist system.This is the
occasion to the workers to review their conditions.
Such a review of their conditions is more pertinent in
this present day epoch of imperialist globalization
dictated by capitalist neo-liberal economic policies
which claim to bring about economic growth throughout
the globe besides bettering well being of the people of
the world and which boast that the capitalist system
is the best system and that there is no alternative to
Ever Increasing Poverty and Inequality:
According to the very recent report of the World- Bank (April 2013), there are still 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty. One-fifth of the world populations are below poverty line. While three decades ago there were only 205 million poor in sub-Saharan Africa, today their number is more than doubled to 414 million. In such a way poverty is spreading like a wild-fire throughout the world not only in under developed world, but also in developing as well developed countries. The living standards of the people are constantly been declining. More than 16% of the world population is suffering due to lack of nutritious food. Millions of people are living in slums. Due to ever rising of prices of food items and essential commodities, people are unable to obtain food and forced to suffer with hunger. Inequality is on the rampage.
It is estimated by IMF that there are already more than 200 million people throughout the world and that many more millions of unemployed are adding to this figure every year. About 900 million people remained vulnerable, to be thrown back into poverty. While there are 73.8 million are the unemployed young people, one fourth of them belong to the advanced world.
Even in developed countries like USA and Japan the unemployment is increasing day by day. The present day rate of unemployment is estimated to be around 8.2%. With the recent indiscriminate layoffs and job cuts being imposed by the employers of the corporate houses like Google, H.P., City group, AMR corporation, PepsiCo, MetLife, J.C.Pemy Co., P&G, Morgan Stanley etc, the rate of unemployment in USA is increasing constantly. On the other hand with the budget-cuts, the rate of employment in governmental jobs is decreasing. The US government’s systematic reduction of the unemployment benefits and allowances is increasing the poverty. Job cuts in the manufacturing sector and government sector has become the order of the day. Most of the unemployed in USA are between the ages to 17 to 25 years. In the Euro zone countries the rate of unemployment is increasing abnormally, particularly in the South European countries. Closure of industries in Germany, France etc is a cause for increasing unemployment rate in these countries. In Spain, the unemployment rate raised to 25%. In Portugal, Hungary and Greece the unemployment rose to almost 26.8%. Every month 88,000 is becoming unemployed in Euro zone countries. There are more than 10,000,000 unemployed in Euro zone, for the past six months there were 10,00,000 job cuts in the Euro zone countries. In U.K. 3,500,000 are unemployed. Same is the case in Germany and France.
In Australia too job cuts in the Govt. sector are being imposed. Compulsory retirement is forced upon the employees.
In the developing and un-developing countries the unemployment rate is far worse, throwing the workers in to perpetual poverty.
Cuts in wages and other Benefits:
Though the productivity had increased by 200%, the wages of the workers are being reduced at an exorbitant rate, by way of wage cuts, pension cuts, medical benefit cuts etc. Minimum wages are being kept a very low rate far below the rates of the past few decades.
In USA, while corporate CEO’s are enjoying abnormal pay & income with many a perks, the wage value of industrial workers is decreasing day by day. The present rate of minimum wage in USA per an hour is $7.26. This wage is far below the level of 1960. The value of the present day rate of minimum wage has fallen behind the inflationary rate for the past 4 decades. The famous Detroit Trio, viz. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, recently made wage agreement with the United Auto Workers; (UAW) according to which the new workers will be paid with only 50% of the wages paid to the long-time workers, but the new workers have to work on par with the long-time workers. Such has been the situation of payment of wages in USA. The women workers, workers belonging to black and Hispanic races, migrant workers from Mexico and other countries are paid still lesser wages than that of the white American workers.
In Euro Zone countries in the name of Austerity measures, in Spain, Greece, and Hungary 30-35-40% of wage cuts are imposed. Cuts in pensions and health care benefits are imposed. The Euro zone countries with a tradition of social protection are today ruthlessly imposing wage cuts, cuts on health and retirement benefits.
With these job cuts, benefit cuts and wage cuts, the purchasing power of the workers is decreasing making them unable to pay their bills and house rents due to which more and more workers are becoming home-less every day. They are being reduced in to paupers. In USA unemployed workers are subjected to drug trials. Children of the poor are separating from their parents. Homeless camps are being crowded. More and more workers are applying for unemployment allowances and benefits. In the countries of Euro zone particularly in Spain and Greece workers being judicially evicted from their home since they failed to pay their house rent dues. Suicides of the middle-class and poor are on the increase. In UK many unemployed are become junkies (drug addicts) and they are occupying cemeteries since they are homeless.
In China, the MNCs are ruthlessly exploiting labour in their pursuit of super profits. Wage dues (unpaid wages to workers) for months altogether is common feature in China, due to which workers are becoming desperate are resorting to violence against their employers very often.
Ever-Increasing Work Load:
In the name of raising productivity, cutting costs and readying for competitiveness workers are being burdened with more and more work-loads in the name of work targets, production targets. Two types of imposing more work load in workers is being adopted. One method is to raise work targets within 8 hours of work day. Another is increasing 8-hrs work day to 10- 12 hours work day or making workers to work for extra time forcibly without paying extra wages. Thus the employers are making every effort to defeat the spirit essence and intention of the 8-hrs work day, demand of May Day.
A bane to the workers:
It is being touted by the advocates of the virtues of the capitalist system that we are living in an era of highly advanced technology that is bringing about affluence, prosperity and well-being of the people of the world. But in practice the highest technology advance achieved by the capitalist system is serving the interests of the capitalist-class in fetching its super-surplus, dehumanizing and degrading the dignity of work and degrading conditions of the worker.
In fact the technological advancement shall bring about a rise in the living standards of ordinary people and workers; Decrease work hours, decrease unemployment and create more employment. Make it possible to the workers and common people to lead healthy lives. But the technology advancement under the owner-ship of capitalist-class and rule by capitalist is spreading poverty and misery among the common people and workers. The advancement of technology is leading to job cuts and unemployment.
Due to the advancement of technology yearly 5- 10 million are losing jobs. By using robots and other machinery of automation, the employers are cutting costs, by way of reducing their costs of wages, even in the countries like China were cheapest labour is available, to gain super-profits.
The Great Wall Motors factory is engaging, 50,000 workers. This factory is a manufacturer for Volkswagen and Audi motor corporations. Now it is planning to introduce Swiss robots to cut costs, in the wake of rising cost of raw materials and rising wages.
At the Philips electronics factory, at Dracheten 128 robots are being used to do the work of assembling electronic shavers. Whereas at Zuhai factory in China hundreds of skilled workers doing the same job. Thus at Netherlands factory, 9/10 of the work force is reduced with automation.
C&S wholesale Grocers, America’s largest Grocery distribution is using robot technology to cut its cost of wages.
Earth bound farms California uses robots to place containers of organic lettuce in shipping boxes. In Fox Conn factory in China which manufactures Ipads, I. phones to Apple co etc, has prepared a plan to use robots in all its giant factories to cut the cost of wages and avoid labour problems.