(Source: MJ/World Movement of Christian Workers)

On 1st May, International Workers’ Day, as a World Movement of Christian Workers, we commemorate:

  • The liberating feat of the martyred workers of Chicago, USA, 1884. Those who with their days of protest, stoppages and boycotts, from May 1 to 4, 1884, claimed an 8-hour day of work: “eight hours for labour, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest” – American Federation of Labour.
  • Our commitment as a Christian workers’ movement, structured in the struggles of all the workers in the countryside and the city, to achieving a decent life expressed in: decent working hours, fair wages and humane conditions in the work environment.

As the WMCW we see, analyze and act from our multiple perspectives, knowledge, experiences and commitments, immersed as we are in a reality marked by two opposing life models:

  • The world capitalist economy – renewing its strategies of domination and subjugation – imposes itself on us more and more brutally and savagely. Its most visible characteristics: a new world geopolitical order with the dominance of financial capital and transnational corporations; borrowing, dispossessing and exploiting the natural and cultural goods of our peoples; the increase in forced migrations from south to north; the implementation of policies and strategies of exclusion, marginalization, criminalization and death; the bio-technological war as the last expression of power: control, domination and submission of nations.

Results: more than 75% of the world population in extreme poverty, over- exploitation and destruction of the Common Home and a growing migratory exodus towards death. All a grotesque robbery of the dignity of people created in the image of the God of Life.

  • Protection, security and the social and solidarity economy – manifested in multiple outlooks and paths, we move slowly towards an alternative life model. With a sustainable agroecological approach, in balance and harmony with Mother Nature, we promote: various family and community strategies for agricultural, livestock, small industry, cooperativism, mutual societies and the collective marketing of surpluses through multiple solidarity markets.

The conquest of the initiatives of protection, security and social economies against that of capital has meant for us long days of legal and political struggles. For this, cooperation with various social movements of women, domestic workers, informal economy workers, migrants, sex workers, peasants, indigenous communities and peoples has been vital.

We have established observation mechanisms with a permanent agenda of compliance with human and collective rights, established and ratified by our States through declarations, treaties, conventions, agreements and covenants, with the timely and supportive accompaniment of the international community and the observation of various international political and legal organizations (ILO, UN, IOM, Courts of Justice, etc.), each with its own nature and purposes.

Results: The defence and promotion of life, our territories and our Mother Earth, based on our cultural roots. From this sectoral, family and community experience we renew principles and values that underlie a new spirituality of life: work, land and housing.

We walk with the awareness and the certainty that another world is possible, based on the human being and Mother Nature above capital and the market.

From this journey of dreams and hopes, WMCW, as a family and international community, reaffirms its commitment made at the Seminar and General Assembly in Ávila (Spain 2017), to contribute from the local, national and continental levels to dignify the life of the working class and to construction of a common table and a Common Home, in justice and solidarity.

(Message written by CWM Guatemala)

Novena’s full coverage of International Workers’ Day:

Coronavirus: German, Austrian cardinals warn of growing social inequalities

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker: Spanish, Italian Churches deplore “virus” of “indecent” job insecurity

Santa Marta Mass: On feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Pope pleads for jobs, dignity and a just wage for all

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Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.