Every May 1st the celebration of International Workers’ Day takes place, this more than a celebration is a call to vindicate the benefits and labor rights of workers.
This celebration has been held since 1889. Today he is 131 years old, i.e. one century, three decades and one year. International Workers’ Day is the quintessential festival of the labor movement across the globe.
In many countries this day is a public holiday, usually on that day mass gatherings of people are held. In many cases to demand wage improvements and other benefits.
May 1, 2020 and 2021 were the exception, since no protest march of people was attended due to the coronavirus. However, technologies are the order of the day and we will analyze how the coronavirus and technologies changed the labor landscape.
The role of social networks is important, so it is very possible that this May 1 will be a digital showcase. Social networks are a showcase for people to express their feelings regarding International Workers’ Day.
But let’s start by asking ourselves why Labor Day is celebrated on May 1? Well, this is due to one of the most important protests held in the United States. This protest was aimed at achieving the 8-hour working day.
Later we will detail what happened, but we anticipate that the day of protests ended in violence. This marked a before and after in the struggle for labor rights. But let’s see what the rights that workers have.
Right to work – International Workers’ Day
Without a doubt, this is a fundamental human right that governments must guarantee with all that this entails.
The right to work is the basis for the realization of other human rights. It is also the foundation for living a dignified life.
This represents the possibility of earning a living through freely chosen or accepted work.
In the increasing implementation of this fundamental right, States are obliged to ensure the availability of technical and professional guidance.
In addition to taking appropriate measures to create an enabling environment, employment opportunities exist.
States’ obligations on the right to work
The right to work is not only the right to work but the right to work under decent conditions. That is why states, in line with international treaties, must ensure the following circumstances:
- Ensure non-discrimination in relation to all aspects of the work.
- States are obliged to guarantee fair wages.
- A minimum wage that allows a dignified life for themselves and their families must be guaranteed.
- Working conditions must be safe, healthy and not degrading to human dignity.
- In addition important elements such as: reasonable working hours, adequate rest and leisure time. Also paid annual leave.
- Workers have the right to form and join a trade union of their choice, and trade unions have the right to form national or international groups.
- Workers have the right to strike, provided that it is carried out in accordance with national laws.
Today during the day working hours in almost all the world are eight hours. In this sense this is a triumph that has been achieved over the years. Previously, working hours were strenuous even 12 hours or more. In the past the worker was reduced to a machine, because leisure times, much less vacation, were not respected.
To achieve the number of hours that runs today was an arduous struggle that many people have undertaken in the past. To these people who fought for the working conditions we owe the utmost respect.
Today, the International Workers’ Day day has become a public holiday in many countries.
This International Workers’ Day is a special occasion to pay tribute to those workers who fought for better benefits.
However, International Workers’ Day is not celebrated in the U.S. on the first day of May. Workers’ Day is celebrated in the United States on the first Monday of September. That is because the events that led to the first of May occurred in the United States and did not end well. The situation is different today but remains unre held in the United States on the date.
Subsequently, on 4 May following a multi-day strike, a rally took place in Haymarket Square.
“That day an artifact exploded in the square, a policeman being killed. There were many detainees, of which five of them were sentenced to the gallows: three journalists, a typographer and a carpenter. They are known as the martyrs of Chicago.”
Undoubtedly, after this unfortunate event was marked a before and after in the history of the struggle of workers around the world.
It was a great success to reduce the working day to eight hours. International Workers’ Day is celebrated to honor the memory of the Chicago Martyrs.
Benefits that have now been achieved for workers
Today there is still much work to be done for workers’ rights. However, there are achievements that represent a real advance in people’s quality of life.
- Food Voucher: This is usually checks or a kind of debit card that is used to purchase food and sometimes medicine
- Hospitalization, Surgery and Maternity Insurance: There are companies where they give priority and importance to the good health of their employees. For this purpose, they have insurance in case the worker becomes ill.
- Transportation Bonus: This is compensation to cover the costs of transportation. There are even companies that cover routes with their own private transport.
- Paid leave: Each year the worker is entitled to a number of days according to his seniority in the company.
Not all countries enjoy these benefits, but the truth is that the rights of workers have come a long way around the world.
Undoubtedly all these benefits that we enjoy today are thanks to those layerless heroes who have struggled to achieve them.
Today in companies there are union groups fighting for workers’ rights.
Covid and how it changed the perspective of workers
Covid 19 is already taking a back seat. This will mark a turnaround on this Workers’ Day of May 1, 2022. But the coronavirus has left an important legacy for generations to come. On the one hand, teleworking was decisively driven by quarantine policies. On the other hand, thousands of workers dismissed or who decided to resign to protect their lives realized that another life was possible.
Let us remember that around the world the consumption of goods and services moves the economy. Many workers during the covid quarantine realized that they could live well without constantly going out to buy and consume. Many of the workers realized that they could live very well with less money available and that is beginning to be noticed in many places.
In addition, the coronavirus forced by quarantine measures that many workers fulfilled their work from their homes. While it was a measure that was considered temporary, as the worst part of covid passed, many workers have refused to work again from the offices. Some begin to value more time at home and with their family than large salaries and this represents a fundamental change.
On the other hand, the workers realized the value they have for the productive chains. This is transforming the relationship between workers and companies. But let’s look in detail at the most important changes that Covid19 is working with below.
Promotion of teleworking
The need to maintain social distancing to reduce infection rates contributed to a change in the work model. For years, technology companies have promoted a series of tools and services to perform telework. Companies such as Zoom or Google have offered various tools for videoconferencing.
Other companies have offered platforms for collaborative work. There are also other tools that allow you to maintain the workflow from anywhere, a concept that at the time was called the mobile office.
Logistics chains have been strengthened thanks to telecommunications. In this way a seller can load the order from the customer’s premises without waiting to arrive at the company. And likewise, courier and transport companies can track pending deliveries in real time. With this the customer can always see where his package is and how much time is left to deliver it.
On the other hand, there are the great advances when it comes to e-commerce. The virtual channels of sale and attention to the public have advanced a lot in recent years.
All these technological tools had the opportunity to demonstrate their full potential thanks to the pandemic. Anyone whose work was not necessarily face-to-face could do the work from home. Even large companies held their meetings through video conferencing platforms.
Even education became more virtual thanks to the pandemic. This is a paradigm shift that, although companies have wanted to reverse at the end of the strongest part of the pandemic, many workers have opposed.
Companies and workers are discovering the advantages of teleworking thanks to the Covid19 pandemic.
The “Great Resignation” movement
Workers have always been focused on improving their working conditions. But real or socially imposed needs made them feel like they still lacked things “to be happy.” The pandemic forced many to rethink the way they lived. Many realized that they were much happier sharing with their family than buying a lot of things.
Many laid-off people who had very important salaries realized that they did not need so much money to live well. And with this they realized that they did not need to live to work, but to work to live.
All this changed the perspective of many people regarding work and job competition. Many people have joined the movement called “The Great Resignation.” This movement advocates to stop working or at least stop working in the conditions that are currently worked.
Many are quitting their jobs to stay at home, others to look for places with better working conditions. And others have realized they deserve more money for what they do. Thanks to this, the labor market in the United States and Europe has a deficit of workers, and with it an increase in wages.
Awareness of worker value is changing. This 2022 will mark a before and after for the lives of workers. It will therefore be interesting to see how things happen on International Workers’ Day this May 1, 2022
The labor crisis of 2023
2023 is being a difficult time for workers. The economic crisis generated by the inflation crisis is generating all kinds of undesirable effects.
Let’s take a look at what’s happening:
- Covid caused a halt in production. The economic stimulus packages provided by countries, especially the US, generated an increase in liquidity.
- Liquidity generated an increase in inflation globally, but especially in the US and Europe.
- The Russian-Ukrainian war created problems in the oil and grain supply chains. These are two fundamental products and raw materials in supply chains and in price formation, boosting inflation.
- To curb inflation, monetary organizations around the world have dramatically increased interest rates.
- Rising interest rates are creating financial problems globally. It has put several U.S. banks in trouble, as well as caused companies’ leverage costs to rise.
- Given the rising costs of leveraging companies, companies in the U.S. and other countries have begun to make mass layoffs.
The global inflationary and economic situation is causing less employment, lower yielding wages and an economic contraction that hits employment again. This is one of the challenges that we must evaluate during the commemoration of International Workers’ Day.
With this in advance, we can say that employment is threatened, but there are other threats that we will see below.
The other threats to employment: Artificial intelligence and teleworking.
Artificial intelligence is advancing with immense strides. Every day more artificial intelligence does better some tasks in which intelligence was required and with it is threatening some jobs.
Although artificial intelligence can be of great help for high-level jobs, it is anticipated that some of the lower-level low-level jobs may be replaced by artificial intelligence.
Some of these jobs threatened by artificial intelligence are:
- Audio transcription can now be done with artificial intelligence with great precision. Now it will be possible to use audio transcription correctors but reducing jobs.
- Voiceover in some cases can be done through systems that synthesize text to speech. They do it very naturally, although they are not so expressive yet.
- Writing is one of the hardest hit aspects. Artificial intelligence systems are creating fairly accurate texts on various topics. So, journalism or blogging is one of the things that can be at risk.
- Illustration has also been driven by the creation of images with artificial intelligence.
- Programming is another discipline that may be affected by artificial intelligence in a few years. There are currently some support tools, however it is advancing very fast.
On the other hand, teleworking is causing some remote jobs to move to countries with lower wages. This affects the availability of jobs in certain areas of work in high-paying countries.
Against this background, the commemoration of International Workers’ Day is no time to congratulate ourselves on the advances in labour rights. On the contrary, it is a moment of reflection to analyze the challenges of the days to come.
Without a doubt, we are living a labor revolution. In future opportunities we will give you some tips to cope with these trends that are here to stay.
Organic Labour Law in Venezuela
Venezuela’s labour law is the branch of the law responsible for regulating the legal relations between employers and workers. Likewise, the activity of trade unions and the actions of the State.
The Organic Labour Law are legal provisions governing employers’ working relationships. It specifies what you have to do as a worker and what you are entitled to. It also addresses the role of the boss.
Workers are protected by this law when requiring their rights.
Undoubtedly this is a breakthrough in the defense of workers’ rights in Venezuela.
Recalling that labour rights were achieved by fighting – International Workers’ Day
May 1st is celebrated on International Workers’ Day, making it a symbolic date in the struggle for workers. This in order to achieve better working conditions and wage improvements.
We must certainly honor the memory of the people who gave their lives to achieve all the accomplishments we enjoy today.
Once again from the Venezuelan Gustavo Mirabal, he extends the congratulations to them in the framework of the International Workers’ Day.
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