May Day.

Next Wednesday is May Day – a day when unions and workers all over the world remember past victories and defeats while they campaign for a better tomorrow.

This year, Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union is supporting Unite, the Maritime Workers Union, First Union and the Postal Workers Union who are organising lunchtime rallies in major centres to protest the government’s anti-worker policies.

The venues are:

Auckland – Britomart

Wellington – Midland Park

Christchurch – The Bridge of Remembrance

Palmerston North – The Square

For those who might be new to May Day, we asked a few Branch Presidents and our organiser who is coordinating our workers’ rights campaign in 2024, what May Day means to them…

“May day is when workers come together to celebrate our collective ability to stand up and speak truth to power, and our role as an agent for social and political change and a fairer society.” – Drew Mayhem, Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser

“May Day is the day we remember who actually keeps the country running. It’s the day to celebrate the workers who teach our children, young and older; who keep us healthy and safe and fed; who make and deliver the things we need. You know, the people who actually do the work that keeps us all alive. And it’s a day to be grateful for the benefits that the labour movement has fought for and won, and that we all enjoy—May Day might be on a Wednesday this year, but let’s keep that gratitude in mind when we’re not working on Saturday, or Sunday, thanks to the weekend that we wouldn’t have if unions hadn’t secured them for us. May Day is a day to be grateful to all workers, and to remember, and to remind ourselves not to let any government erode any of the protections that allow the workers of Aotearoa to work in safety.” – Steve McCabe, MIT | Te Pūkenga

“May Day means different things for me as I am from the Northern Hemisphere. It means springtime but also it is a religious day in the Catholic calendar known as the day of Saint Joseph the worker. Most relevant though, the 1 May is known as the international day of the worker and a time to recognize in solidarity, everyone who is a participant in the international labour market and celebrate our overall contribution to the economy of the world.” – Cynthia Martell-Stark, Toi Ohomai | Te Pūkenga

“May Day or Workers’ Day is a day of remembering the working classes throughout the world with the struggles they have had to go through that makes our working conditions as what they are today. This includes, but not limited to, such as a 5-day working week, eight hour working day, annual leave, lunch breaks and the right to be unionised and to have a voice against the employer. We tend to forget the hard way of life it was before workers’ rights. Long live the workers of the world.” – David Sinfield, AUT