The International Workers’ Day or May First is a commemoration of the global labor movement.
It is a day that has commonly been used to make various social and labor demands in favor of the working classes, mainly by anarchist and communist movements, among others.
Since its establishment in most countries (although the consideration of the holiday was in many cases late) by agreement of the Socialist Workers’ Congress of the Second International, held in Paris in 1889, it is a day of vindictive struggle and tribute to the Martyrs of Chicago.
These anarchist unionists were executed in the United States for participating in the struggle for the eight-hour workday, which originated in the strike that began on May 1, 1886, and reached its climax three days later, on May 4, in the Haymarket Revolt.
From then on, it became a day of claiming workers’ rights in general, which is celebrated to a greater or lesser extent worldwide.
The 1954 strike in Honduras
Between the 1st and 2nd of May 1954, the banana workers of Honduras went on strike that, after a week, would cover the country in a great uprising that would involve almost all the workers of the country.
We must remember what the banana monopolies were like, which, like the United Fruit Co. and the Standard Fruit Co., not only dominated the economy of Honduras and the Caribbean, but were a “state within the state”, they appointed and removed presidents, controlled the National Congress, and the laws were at their service.
Workers suffered limitless exploitation. They did not enjoy any labor or social rights. A dictatorship had ruled the country for 25 years that did not allow political freedoms or free elections.
On July 9th, the strike ended by signing an agreement that did not meet the strikers’ demands. But even with repression and betrayal, the strike generally achieves its objectives.
May 1st in current Honduran reality
Every May 1st, the unions of Honduras plan a march as a popular expression of the discontent of the working class that still struggles for better wages and fairer conditions for the thousands of workers in the country.
In recent years, this march has been contaminated by unscrupulous politicians seeking to win the sympathy and votes of workers.