By Vicki Morris
Mayday in Europe, in addition to the traditional marches, witnessed a number of “Euromayday” events. The organisers are more or less anarchistic activists involved in struggles of the unemployed and insecurely employed and are generally scornful of the “organised” labour movement.
In general, that attitude isn’t helpful. However, the aims of the movement — to organise the unorganised, to foster rank and file control of struggles, to link struggles — are good aims.
In France Euromayday was organised by Stop Précarité, a network for various struggles against “précarité” (the French word for what we are seeing more and more of in the labour market today: insecure or part-time or contract work; migrants having no rights at work).
The Euromayday actions in France included occupying the bar at one of the plush hotels belonging to the Accor group and declaring “the drinks are on the house!”.
The hotel is cleaned by low-paid women, employees of sub-contractor Arcade. After a year of strike the women won an industrial battle with their employer in 2003.
However, one of their leaders, Faty Mayan, was sacked afterwards for her union activities. She has been challenging the sacking using all possible legal procedures.