May 1970. Now Let Unions Go On to the Attack
For over 80 years now May Day has been recognized throughout the world as the workers' day. It is the day on which workers throughout the world muster their strength, and demonstrate their determination to struggle to achieve the demands which happen to be particularly pressing and urgent.
Last year's May Day in Britain broke new ground in two ways.
It was the largest-ever demonstration to be held on May 1 itself in addition to the traditional demonstrations on May Sunday.
But it was more than a demonstration. It assumed the character of a national strike, involving hundreds of thousands of workers who downed tools in London and a number of other major cities.
It was the culmination of an unprecedented campaign directed against the Government's intentions to put the clock back a century and more on trade-union rights.
It was a high point in the continuous struggle of the trade unions for the unfettered right to use the strike weapon in furthering the interests of their membership.
It was a historic May Day not only in the role it played in achieving the immediate demand of retaining the sovereignty and independence of the unions.
Above all, the flexing of their muscles on May 1, 1969, and the victory achieved the following July, gave the workers of Britain a new sense of confidence and a deeper understanding that in a capitalist society one hour of action is worth more than a thousand hours of argument and pleas for justice.
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