Dear friends and members. Happy 1st of May, Labour Day.
This year´s 1st of May cannot be celebrated as usual, like most things in our society nowadays. There will be no people gatherings, activities with refreshments, but I would like to point out that on the national television, RÚV, there will be a live broadcast with various entertainment on 1st of May at 19:40.
Since 1st of May last year many things have changed in communications between employees and employers. Collective agreements have been updated with almost all counterparties and has the result of them all been to improve the benefits of the ones that are paid the least. Long before this so called “Lífskjarasamningur” or “Life collective agreement” was signed 3rd of April 2019, it was made clear to the leaders of this nation that the real had grown so and so, last years. Now, when a world pandemic is at hand, everything feels like it is in a stand still, governments around the world are trying to pump money into the labour markets to keep the companies floating, there is not being mentioned anything about the real of the wages of the common man/woman/it. Never spoken about or mentioned how they are supposed to survive. One might wonder, will this be the same as before, that when there is a recession in the society, the ones that have least are made to bleed the most, while the ones that have the most will be helped the most?
The title of May 1st this year is “build a just society”. In recent weeks, it has become even more evident that neoliberalism is not working, whether in the pandemic or the economic crisis it is creating, as it was in 2008. Now it is the opportunity to make the changes, needed to build a just society, a society where justice is placed above the immediate interests and the momentum of a few self-interest, a society that values all its fellow citizens for merit.
In the coming weeks and months, we will hopefully reach the point of being able to resume a “normal” life and start society, but still with changes that will be for the people and not for finance. At this time, we can hopefully find the way that benefits the nations of the world to live in harmony with the resources that this earth has to offer, the only earth available to us. We do not have any other choice.
My best regards,
Vignir S. Maríasson
Chairman of the union, Verkalýðsfélag Snæfellinga.