The origin of May Day lies in a 19th century struggle for an eight working hour day. Despite earlier advances in workers welfare the British employee works on average more hours per week than any other worker in the EU!*
This 'Long hours culture' puts a great deal of strain on an employees family life. For many the threat of being replaced by cheap non-unionised migrant labour also forces them to work further unregistered or unpaid overtime.
Solidarity General Secretary Patrick Harrington says "Many British workers today are finding their pay and working conditions eroded under pressure from ruthless bosses exploiting migrant and agency labour. As Trade Unions fought to right the wrongs of the past we are equally required today to combat these new threats. That's why May Day is still relevant in 2008"
Members of the independent Nationalist union Solidarity are celebrating the 'authentic' May Day with a special recruitment leaflet and activities around the country.
* Eurostat Labour Force Survey, updated 08 August 2007
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2008 17:24