Author: Jake Lewis

On May 1, workers all across the country celebrated International Workers Day, also known as May Day. May Day is a time for workers to remember the struggles of the past while rededicating themselves to the fight for fairness for all working people.

Despite the ongoing restrictions on in-person gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Labor community kept the spirit of May Day running strong by hosting a series of virtual and in-person events and programming to celebrate throughout the day. 

Here in Chicago, the CFL launched its inaugural 5k for May Day Virtual Run & Walk, an event to celebrate labor while socially distant, encouraging supporters to get active as they learn more about labor history. From the streets of Downtown Chicago, all the way to Washington D.C., participants laced up in celebration of workers, submitted photos of their runs, and competed for prizes.

Additionally, the CFL partnered with the Illinois Labor History Society to host a series of online events at the Haymarket Memorial. On May Day, Secretary-Treasurer Don Villar joined Larry Spivak, President of the Illinois Labor History Society to celebrate the Italian Federation of Metalworkers (Federazione Impiegati Operai Metallurgici, FIOM) by presenting them with an honorary plaque for the Haymarket Memorial statue. 

Following the FIOM dedication event, labor leaders gathered alongside community members to honor the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists with an honorary plaque as well. At the event, members of CBTU spoke in honor of labor and recognized the power of workers to uplift one another.