A call has gone out to trade unionists to 'Make May Day our day'. The appeal is from former Labour MP Tony Benn, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. It slams New Labour's privatisation plans and anti trade union laws. It also points out how the government's war plans against Iraq are opposed by the majority of the population.
It calls on people to make every effort to go on the march called by the South East Region of the TUC and anti-capitalist group Globalise Resistance. This appeal should be circulated round every workplace, school, college and community organisation.
For the first time trade unonists, anti-capitalists and anti-war activists are joining forces to make May Day a day of protest and celebration. The Stop the War Coalition has made the May Day protest the next focus of its opposition to Bush and Blair's war drive.
Support for the May Day march is reaching far beyond the usual activists. Although some people will be stuck at work, many others can join the march after their shifts, take flexi-time or wangle a few hours to join the protests. Norman Candy is an officer in the London division of the CWU post workers' union, which has backed the march.
He told Socialist Worker, 'This year's demo is extremely important because of the attacks on Royal Mail. Hopefully the whole national union will be behind it. Leaflets advertising the march have been circulated round the London branches.'
Members of the Unison union are discussing ways to build on the support for the march shown by the Unison London Regional Committee. Unison is holding a public service workers' rally in London on Thursday 25 April.
Among the speakers will be Unison general secretary Dave Prentis, RMT union general secretary Bob Crow, FBU union vice-president Ruth Winters, and CWU general secretary Billy Hayes. It will be chaired by Candy Udwin, Unison's London deputy convenor.
Activists can seize on their leaders' show of unity to turn out large numbers on the streets, and to turn May Day into a powerful show of united resistance to privatisation and war.
United for May Day, Wednesday 1 May. Assemble 12 noon, Clerkenwell Green, London EC1. March to Trafalgar Square.