A May Day Under Storm Clouds
This May 1st, International Workers Day, millions of people took to the streets to remember the date and under different motivations. Some, like Venezuela or Bolivia, celebrated victories as the minimum wage increase and a new labor law, which dignify workers. Others, like the Europeans and Americans, marched to protest against the gains lost, and made clear the hard struggle ahead.
But generally, on May 1st the world had more to lament rather than celebrate, the future is gloomy and that became clear in a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) which said there are over 197 million unemployed today and that number will exceed 200 million by the end of year, but if this situation persists, the toll could reach 207 million next year.
If we delve into a data, more serious details are found, as in the case of women, considered as one of the segments hardest hit by the lack of jobs. Parallel, and according to the report of the institution, young people are also in a total crisis, since they are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, while 40% of those under 25 do not have jobs today.
Will it be easy or complicated to reverse the current situation? Let’s see. You need to create, for instance, more than 600 million jobs over the next 10 years to alleviate the employment crisis. At this point, under these conditions and with these prospects, the calculation seems an ironic joke of science fiction.
However, to understand the full extent of this, it is necessary to analyze its consequences. First, it is logical to expect a worsening of the already seen: the social protests. There are several elements that should really concern the global capitalist elite. Workers and the unemployed are increasing their struggle, which has not been, as many originally thought, a short or temporary situation. Despite the attacks and the judicial measures, protest movements are multiplied in Europe and the United States, the two main poles of traditional capitalist power.
Nevertheless, other elements are that protesters are winning ideological consciousness and discarding the idea that within the system they can achieve a solution and that the culprits are governments. Sustaining the struggle requires organization and if these protesters consolidate its structure, they can be much stronger compared to big capital. On the other hand, this is not only a struggle of workers and the unemployed, but also a struggle for students, social movements and those small and medium-sized enterprises. This fight does not look like any other in modern history.
And there is a news story that shows the ILO report is right on target. Unemployment in Europe has a new record! So, where are the positive effects of the socioeconomic adjustments suggested and applied almost everywhere? Are capitalist politicians aware of the chaos that awaits them around the corner?