On 1st May, the construction workers of Shramik Hakk Andolan (A Trade Union) took out 2 rallies to celebrate international workers day. For past 2.5 years we (New Socialist Alternative) have been working among construction workers and last year unionised them registering a trade union named ‘Shramik Hakk Andolan‘.
Along with addressing the major issues faced by these workers (like difficulties in registering with Board of Construction Workers) we have been constantly discussing various social, ecobmical and political topics with them emphasising the need to organise working class struggle against the rotten system.
The largr participation of workers in May Day rallies was a testimony to our efforts. We organised 2 different rallies in 2 different parts of the city, one in the morning and the other in the evening. Both of them were attended by 100 odd workers each. Carrying scores of red flags and dozens of placards, workers enthusiastically participated jn the rally shouting slogans. Through our placards and leaflets (around 400) we appealed that May Day is the day of all laborers comemorating the struggle of working class. placards put forward grievences of not just construction workers but also sanitation workers, vendors and other sections of unorganjzed working class. We also made a point to reach out to fresh layers of youth workers like Gig workers, teachers on contract. The rally passed through working class areas and we appealed others to join. It was a vibrant march where at few spots workers performed lezim (A Traditional Group Dance).
With our material, placards, flags and vibrant slogans we reached out to thousands. Perhaps ours was the only such long rally (one in the morning wae more than 3 km) with such larger participation in the city. We were keen on reviving those glorious working class tradition of taking out march on May Day and could achieve it. For workers sheer experience of marching through streets and their own areas in hundreds with their own demanda and slogans was quite an experience that empowers them as a class.
We internd to carry with our work in the coming period with doubled vigour.