The following statement is issued by the Icelandic branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The IWW is an international trade union dedicated to achieve and uphold a dignified existance for all the working classes, as well as the overthrow of capitalism and the abolision of the wage system.
We would like to celebrate and incourage the main ideas precented in bill nr. 19 that is currently under review in Alþingi. The authors of the bill suggest that whenever public holidays such as new years, christmass and the 17th of june occur on weekends they should be compensated for in the week after. They also suggest that ascension day and the first day of summer be moved to the friday after their occurance on the calender given that they don’t collide with another holiday in wich case they would be transferred to the wednesday.
The IWW strongly supports this timely change and urges all parliamentarians to support the working class’s right to rest and lesure.
However, we must opose the idea of moving Mayday to the first monday of May as this holiday is an international day of struggle for the rights and dignity of all workers. This day differs from the other holidays in that it does not only serve as a holiday or a spiritual celebration but as the only tool of class truggle that is implimented worldwide on the same occation. For this reason we also object to the value given to this day in the text of the bill. Rather than refering to it as “frídagur verkamanna” (working mans day off) we demand that it be called by its apropriate name “baráttudagur verkalýðsins” (the working class day of struggle).
We demand that mayday be celebrated on the first day of may and should it occour on a weekend the monday after should be announced a public holday.
We incourage other unions, interest groups and workers to support increased respect for public holidays and to step up the fight for improved conditions, safety and dignity of the working classes.
In Solidarity with workers everywhere.
The Iceland branch of the Industrial Workers of the World.