This year’s international workers’ day comes at the start of a crucial month for the labour movement, with our traditional celebrations coinciding with the four-week countdown to the most important European elections ever.

The decade of austerity and deregulation policies pursued by right-wing politicians following the financial crash had devastating consequences for millions of workers and unsurprisingly created a crisis in trust between citizens and Europe.

Now we are witnessing the backlash in which far-right and populist parties are seeking to take advantage of the situation. But their politics of division offer no solutions for the challenges faced by working people across the continent.

To tackle climate change, to end tax avoidance by multi-national companies, to stop poverty and inequality, to stop social dumping, to deal with migration we need to act together through the European Union – not retreat behind our national borders.

We have already seen Europe take steps in the right direction by protecting posted workers and introducing the European Pillar of Social Rights. Now we need a real social Europe which puts workers first every day of the year and not only May 1.

industriAll Europe is calling for the next European Parliament and Commission to deliver: 

  • Access for all to standard full-time open-ended contracts and a pay rise for workers across the EU to ensure they get a fair share of the wealth they’re generating.

  • Concrete and swift implementation of the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights as part of an end to austerity and the creation of a reliable social safety net. 

  • That collective bargaining of wages and working conditions be enforced along with the right to information, consultation and participation in company decisions.

  • A ‘Made in Europe’ industrial strategy that creates badly needed jobs and puts industry at the forefront of tackling societal challenges like climate change.

  • A ‘Just Transition’ to a low-carbon economy which ensures that ambitious environment policies are matched by ambitious social policies

That progressive change is possible if the millions of working men and women we represent go out and vote for candidates who support our policies between May 23 and 26. Enjoy May Day and let’s make sure we’ve still got something to celebrate at the end of the month.