Fair and decent work for all, regardless of your skin colour, gender, religion or country of birth, that’s the struggle of the World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW) with its movement members.
Since 1889 (May 1stchosen as Labour Day), many workers from all around the world take to the streets on May 1st to commemorate the fight that led to better and more dignified working conditions to the unionists in Chicago, during which several protesters were killed. With this call, the WMCW want to remind how little the situation in some parts of the world has changed since that time and how necessary is to continue to actively engage in order to improve the situation.
Despite the many statements and demands for decent work, described for example in the social encyclicals of Popes, in numerous publications of the ILO and many other documents, there is often exploitation and slavery-like working conditions. Most people in poor countries work without any rules regarding working hours, safety at work and remuneration.
That’s the case of the maid of a wealthy family in Mali who was told she would get paid at the end of the year. When that time arrived, she was told that she had broken so many things like glasses and crockery that there was no more money left from her salary. She worked 7 days a week and had to be constantly available. In the end, she had worked a whole year for no pay. This example represents many people around the world. The member movements of the WMCW bring this to the public’s attention, register it at the State institutions (Police) and help the victims to take action in order to improve their situation.
In many countries, regulations are easily removed by turning employees into "independent" workers, which are just as dependent as before but instead have almost no rights. An example of this are the package deliverers who have to buy their own vehicle and assume all risks involved. They often drive more than 10 hours a day and it is only with difficulty that they can feed a family. If the car breaks down, they have to take out a loan, so they become even more dependent than before.