Focus on the Global South joined thousands of workers, labor groups, civil society organizations, and social movements in Manila to commemorate International Workers’ Day. May 1 is also known as Labor Day and is a public holiday in the Philippines. Why do we have Labor Day? For whom is Labor Day celebrated?

Judy Ann Chan-Miranda of Partido Manggagawa shares us her thoughts on May Day.

Para Saan at Kanino ang Mayo Uno?
Manila, Philippines
1 May 2017

“Huwag nating kalilimutan bakit tayo nandito — tayo ay boses; tayo ay kumakatawan hindi lamang sa mga banderang dala-dala natin; hindi tayo nandito lang dahil sa kulay ng mga damit natin. Nandito tayo para sa milyung-milyong manggagawa na nais nating organisahin, pakilusin, at himukin na sumama sa laban — laban para sa trabaho, laban para sa regular na trabaho, laban para sa sweldong nakakabuhay, laban para sa mga batas paggawa at pagkilala na tayo ay hindi mga basahan o hindi tayo mga kalakal na dapat tinatawaran. Ang lakas paggawa ng manggagawang bumubuhay sa lipunan ay dapat pinapahalagahan dahil tayo ang bumubuhay ng mga kasama. Itayo natin ang dignidad ng manggagawa.”

“Let us not forget what brought us here and why we are here — we carry the voice; we represent not only the banners that proclaim who we are; we are not here simply because of the colors that represent our political ideologies and principles. We are here for the millions of workers we want to organize, to move into action, and to join the struggles — struggles for decent work, struggles for fair and adequate living wages to raise and rear our families in dignity, struggle for laws that will respect, honor, and protect the rights of workers, and to insist that we should not be treated like disposable rags or goods that can be traded for profit. The workers are the foundation on which societies are built and which allow for its continued existence. Let us uphold our workers’ dignity.”


Photos and video by Galileo de Guzman Castillo

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