CPP Statement On The Occasion Of International Labor Day 2024

Communist Party Of The Philippines

May 1, 2024

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the vanguard of the Filipino proletariat, extends its revolutionary solidarity to workers all over the world on the occasion of International Labor Day. The May 1st declaration was done in Paris 135 years ago today, to commemorate the May 1, 1896 Haymarket strike in Chicago, USA, demanding an eight-hour working day, that was violently suppressed by the police.

More than a century since, workers all over the world, along with other toiling classes and sectors, continue to fight for their rights and aspirations, amid intolerable conditions brought about by unprecedented crisis of the global capitalist system. They desire to wage revolution and bring history back to the course of socialism.

In the face of a chronic crisis of joblessness, workers’ wages continue to be pulled down below the daily costs of living. They are subjected to even worse forms of exploitation and oppression, as profit-hungry financial oligarchs and monopoly capitalists race against one another to accumulate even greater wealth.

More than four decades of neo-liberal economic policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization have been directed mainly against the social, economic and political rights of workers to maximize the extraction of surplus value from their labor-power. The backward, semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries were subjected to trade and investment liberalization which allowed foreign monopoly companies to carry out unmitigated plunder of natural resources resulting in gross destruction of the environment, and exploitation of labor through repression of wages and suppression of union rights.

Filipino workers have been subjected to relentless neo-liberal attacks since the late 1980s. The gap between wages and the cost of living of workers in the Philippines have constantly widened. Direct and indirect attacks against unions have impaired the ability of workers to collectively bargain and demand higher wages, further made worse by chronic mass unemployment.

Labor laws were amended to pave the way for neo-liberal attacks, including the regionalization of wages, the “floor-wage” and “two-tier” wage systems, and other schemes that sought to pull down wages. These laws also allowed capitalists to employ various forms of flexible labor, including labor contractualization, compressed work week, outsourcing, and other schemes. These subject workers to prolonged hours of work, unpaid overtime, and other worse working conditions.

As a result, the standards of living of workers have constantly gone down, especially with the sharp and relentless increase in the prices of food, fuel, and other basic necessities, especially over the past two years under the Marcos regime. Workers and their families are suffering from quantitatively and qualitatively lower levels in terms of their living conditions, education of their children, food and nutrition, health care, and access to public utilities and services. Filipino workers and their families have no money savings and are deep in debt.

The conditions of workers and the rest of the Filipino people are rapidly deteriorating under the Marcos puppet and fascist regime, which has been aggressively pursuing policies that favor foreign economic and military interests. Marcos has turned a deaf ear on the clamor of workers for wage increases. This is in line with his regime’s policy of cheap labor as a key measure in his anti-national thrust of attracting foreign investors. Heeding the demand of foreign capitalist chambers, the Marcos regime is seeking to amend the 1987 constitution to reinforce its neo-liberal policies that will further subject Filipino workers to greater oppression and exploitation.

Marcos’ political repression drive against unions has intensified as labor organizers are subjected to surveillance, harassment, arrests, abductions and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by military and police agents. The Marcos regime is using the so-called Anti-Terrorism Law to carry out its state terrorist attacks against workers and other democratic sectors.

Serving the geopolitical ends of his US imperialist masters, Marcos has allowed US military forces to increase their presence and strengthen their foothold on the country. The US government is using the Philippines, through their EDCA military bases, as a springboard for saber-rattling and war provocations against its rising imperialist rival China. It has been deploying thousands of US troops, jet fighters, aircraft carriers, missile systems, and other weapons and war matériel in the Philippines, to the detriment of Philippine sovereignty and security.

In the face of worsening forms of exploitation and economic conditions, heightened political repression and outright subservience of the Marcos regime to US imperialism, the working class movement in the Philippines must stand more firmly at the forefront of the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.

Filipino workers must exert all efforts to get organized and build their unions and all other types of mass organizations (with patriotic and democratic political, cultural and other causes) in their factories and communities. They must be roused, organized and mobilized to fight for just wages corresponding to the cost of production of their labor-power. Amid the sharp economic downturn, workers stand on just ground in demanding a renegotiation of their collective bargaining agreements. They must demand a minimum daily wage of around ₱1,200 corresponding to the costs for decent living of a family of five.

They must resist all forms of attacks against their economic and political rights.

At the same time, they must link their economic struggles with the urgent social and political issues confronting the Filipino people. The Filipino people relies mainly on the strength of the working class in their fight against Marcos’ “chacha” scheme and the rising threat against the country’s sovereignty and security as a result of US imperialism’s war provocations. Workers must actively raise their voices and put forward the sharpest analysis and criticism of key issues from a national democratic perspective, and lead mass actions to manifest the workers collective stand on the outstanding issues confronting the Filipino workers and people, and peoples around the world.

On this occasion of May 1st, let us look back at the history of the workers’ struggles around the world, from the Paris Commune of 1871 through more than a century of fighting imperialism across the globe. Let us also look back at the rich history of the struggle of Filipino workers, from their active role in the anti-colonial revolution, waging to American colonialism, carrying out guerrilla warfare against Japanese occupation, fighting martial law and the Marcos dictatorship, mounting the strike movement during the early 1980s and in the resistance to neo-liberal policies over the past four decades.

Through more than 150 years, the working class has achieved great victories, starting with the 1917 October Revolution in Russia which opened a new era of socialist revolution around the world. Through the next seven decades, workers and peasants led by the revolutionary proletariat guided by Marxism-Leninism, made big strides in anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, and socialist revolutionary victories in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, countries in Eastern Europe up to East Germany and other parts of the world.

Countries that were under a workers’ state, primarily the Soviet Union and China, made unprecedented democratic and liberative accomplishments, as society’s productive forces were placed under the control of the proletarian state and made to serve the interests of workers, peasants and other toiling people. Socialist revolution and construction swept one fourth of the entire world and opened a new era of economic progress, social equality, and peace–the first such period in the history of humankind.

These victories for the working class, however, were destroyed by modern revisionist betrayals of socialism in the Soviet Union starting 1956 and in China from 1977, leading to the restoration of capitalism. Since then, we have seen the return of backward economic conditions, exploitation and oppression, and the renewed suffering of hundreds of millions of people. Productive forces–from large industries to land–were reverted to private ownership, and employed to make profits for the bourgeoisie. The grave socioeconomic conditions and political repression suffered by millions of workers and peasants under restored capitalism, underscore the necessity of waging revolutionary class struggle, to direct the course of history back to that of socialist progress and freedom.

The stark conditions of capitalist exploitation and imperialist oppression around the world point to the necessity and continuing viability of waging new democratic and socialist revolutions. The revolutionary proletariat in all countries around the world must vigorously study and promote Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and apply this on their concrete conditions, with the aim of serving as guide for revolutionary action.

On this May 1st, the Communist Party of the Philippines reaffirms its determination to lead the Filipino working class and people in waging the national democratic revolution to put an end to the basic ills of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, by waging protracted people’s war along the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside.

The Party calls on all workers to rise and fight to defend their rights, and stand at the head of the struggle for national democracy and socialism.

Source : https://philippinerevolution.nu/statements/workers-at-the-revolutionary-forefront-through-135-years-of-may-one/