This week, the Bangla blog world buzzed with essays and analysis regarding May 1st, remembered the world over as International Workers’ Day or Labor Day.
There was disappointment amongst many of the bloggers who felt that the day, over time, had perhaps lost its true meaning and was seen as just another holiday. According to Zukrufa, many employers were paying lip service to the memory of May Day by organizing seminars, sports and magazine articles on the issue and showing the workers a lush dream of what their life could be like. However, those same employers were not actually making any changes in the way workers were exploited by the system and thereby denied their well-deserved rights.
Syed Amiruzzaman sees this as a ploy to keep the working class deluded so that they can be exploited, not only by the employers, but also by political parties and trade union leaders. In Amader Kotha (Our stories), a Bangla blog which is part of Narijibon project in Bangladesh (a Rising Voices grantee), Aysha Khatun writes how even today the workers in Bangladesh's garment industry are very much exploited and have to put in minimum 12 hours labor to get paid 8 hours’ worth. Also, these workers, she tells us, are made to work through holidays and probably were working even on May Day.
Kowshik Ahmed points out the plight of workers in various fields and raises a question about their rights and ‘job security’. Blogger Suman Chowdhury however sees hope and says that just as there is exploitation on the one hand, on the other hand there is the indomitable spirit of the labor class and the will to protest and get their rights. He calls for unity among the workers across the globe.