Statement of the Nezavinost Trade Union Confederation on the occaison of May 1


This is the eight consecutive wartime May 1. In this century, no other European state has had such a long war. It is true though that Serbia was not in war, at least not in the same sense that it has ever declared war. But for eight years war has been the main element of our lives and our fate. For eight years workers 1 May is bloodstained, both stained with our blood and with blood of those who were until recently our fellow citizens.

It is eight years now that Serbia lives without its working class, for eight years war mongering, nationalist and chauvinist songs and slogans are heard, eight years they are dividing us into Serbs and the "others", while in the name of and to the benefit of the working class they are closing down factories, sending workers out to the streets and flee markets, with no future or hope. NATO came at the end of the final act of the play. Workers whose factories NATO finally finished off joined the workers who have been out of work for years thank to the adventurist, irresponsible and anti labour policy of the Serbian regime.

In this, let us hope the final episode of our collective tragedy, when the two enemies, domestic and foreign joined forces against us, and on the occasion of another sad May 1, the workers should open their eyes and say why all this happened. Throughout this period they expected and demanded from us to prove our patriotism by obediently following those in power and by betraying our workers interests, by betraying May 1. Many of us accepted this. That is why Serbia has turned into rubble. That is why May 1 is bloodstained.

Starting from this May 1, workers have to start using their own heads. And there is no place in a worker's head for Serbs, Albanians, or any other people, worker's head worries if there is a job or not, in worker's head Serb, Albanian and all other nations are struggling for workers rights and freedoms, for better wages, safer and better pension plans, a life with dignity. Workers who are not ethnically divided, workers who carry no other sign of recognition, can be an invaluable contribution to the building of a democratic society, where an individual is placed before nation. That is how we will finally achieve peace and ensure that this is the last bloody May 1. We owe this to all our fellow workers who in the past have lost their lives anywhere in the world, fighting for the interest of the world of labour, and whose sacrifice we seem to have forgotten while dancing this dance macabre of nationalism, chauvinism and while glorifying evil.

This is our last chance to return to the values that the International Labour Day, May 1, stands for.

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