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May Day 2022 - Statement by President Michael D. Higgins

Date: Sun 1st May, 2022 | 14:05

Today on May Day, International Workers’ Day, we honour the important role of organised labour movements both here in Ireland and across the globe.

We recall to memory, and celebrate, the lives of all the workers who have marched, fought, and stood in solidarity with their colleagues, their fellow citizens, and with people all over the world in struggles against injustice, inequality and exclusion.

Workers’ rights are never a given. The emergence in recent years of the under-regulated ‘gig economy’, which engenders minimal rights for workers with equally minimal responsibilities for employers, is a vivid reminder of such threats.

As we emerge from the pandemic, it is important that we reflect on the gap between our current position and that place at which we wish to arrive – a participative world of work in which every worker is respected, treated with dignity, fairly remunerated and protected within a rights-based policy framework.

Solidarity in an inter-dependent world must mean standing shoulder to shoulder with those in other countries, especially those nations suffering the impacts of war, humanitarian crises and those nations with fewer resources.

Our thoughts remain with Ukraine and its embattled citizens. We continue to hope that multilateralism can bring an end to this abhorrent, immoral war, stop the killing, achieve a ceasefire, and allow the full flow of the humanitarian relief that is necessary.

Today on May Day, let us all commit together to the building of a peaceful, compassionate and inclusive post-pandemic society. Let us build a society in which all work is valued, all jobs offer security, and all workers are permitted the dignity of living flourishing and fulfilled lives, of lives lived in freedom personally, and able to experience and enjoy collective rights expressed through active and participatory union membership, all of which are critical for the creation of an inclusive, cohesive, more equal society.

Beir beannacht