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MIRA Celebrates International Workers Day

International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, is celebrated around the world to honor the contributions and achievements of workers and to advocate for labor rights.

Yesterday MIRA staff joined member organizations La Colaborativa, Brazilian Workers’ Center, and La Comunidad at the annual May Day march for workers’ rights organized by the May 1st Coalition. The event was attended by representatives from labor and community organizations from across the state. Starting at Central Park in East Boston, participants carrying signs and chanting slogans in English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese marched across the Chelsea bridge to Everett.

May Day has a rich history rooted in the struggle for better working conditions, fair wages, and social justice. It holds a special significance for immigrant workers, who face unique challenges and vulnerabilities in the labor market. Observed on the 1st of May each year, May Day is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of immigrant workers and advocate for their rights and dignity.

The history of May Day is deeply intertwined with the struggles of immigrant workers. From the early waves of immigration to the present day, immigrants have played a vital role in shaping our economy and society. However, they have also been among the most exploited and marginalized members of the workforce, facing discrimination, low wages, unsafe working conditions, and threats of deportation.

The story of May Day is incomplete without acknowledging the contributions of immigrant workers. In the United States, for example, immigrant labor played a crucial role in the fight for the eight-hour workday, as evidenced by the participation of immigrant workers in the historic Haymarket affair of 1886. Since then, immigrant workers have been at the forefront of struggles for labor rights.

Today, immigrant workers continue to face numerous challenges, including wage theft, workplace harassment, and barriers to accessing healthcare and other essential services. In addition, anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric have created a climate of fear and uncertainty for immigrant communities, making it even more difficult for them to assert their rights and advocate for change.

May Day is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with immigrant workers and amplify their voices. It is a day to demand an end to exploitative labor practices, xenophobic policies, and systemic injustices that disproportionately affect immigrant communities. It is also a day to celebrate the resilience and strength of immigrant workers who, despite facing immense obstacles, continue to contribute to their workplaces, communities, and economies.

As we commemorate May Day this year, let us recommit ourselves to the fight for immigrant workers’ rights and dignity. Let us advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, fair wages, safe working conditions, and inclusive policies that recognize the humanity and worth of all workers, regardless of their immigration status. Together, we can build a more just and equitable society where immigrant workers are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Want to support workers rights? Reach out to the organizations who hosted this event, or find one of the many MIRA member organizations engaged in this important work.

Read More about the significance of May Day