On May 1, workers around the world honour and draw inspiration from the activism and collective power that won the struggle for an eight‑hour workday. CUPE recognizes International Workers’ Day, or May Day, in solidarity with millions of workers around the world.

This year, workers in Canada and around the world are organizing for safe working conditions, a living wage with benefits and a pension, and quality public services for everyone.

Our collective demands for decent work, safety, dignity, and respect are urgent, as we live through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has exposed serious gaps and inequities in our country, and between countries. It has shown the devastating consequences when governments cut, privatize or neglect public services. The importance of strong public services, and the value of front-line workers, have never been more clear. Let’s make sure workers, and public-sector solutions, are at the heart of the recovery.

We have also seen how corrupt and authoritarian governments are using the pandemic as a smokescreen to crack down on workers and other people organizing for human rights. We stand in solidarity with movements around the world resisting repression.

On May Day, we recommit to defending workers’ rights and public services in Canada and around the world, to speaking out against oppression, and to building a post-pandemic world that doesn’t go back to ‘normal.’

CUPE will keep strengthening worker-to-worker connections in the year ahead with migrant workers in Canada, and with our partners and allies in countries including Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Israel-Palestine, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

International solidarity connects our struggles for labour rights, economic justice, racial justice, migrant justice, and climate justice.


  • This May Day, CUPE reiterates our call to the Canadian government to stop blocking COVID-19 vaccine access for low- and middle-income countries. Learn more about why vaccination is an urgent global priority, and check out Public Service International’s action centre on universal vaccine access. CUPE is a member of PSI, the global union federation representing 30 million public sector workers.
  • Send a letter to help free CUPE 4600 member Cihan Erdal. Cihan has been arbitrarily detained in Turkey since September 2020. His “crime”? Two Facebook posts sharing public articles critical of the Turkish government. Our tool is an easy way send a letter to foreign affairs minister Marc Garneau and other Canadian and Turkish officials. Please share it widely in your networks. Our solidarity will help bring Cihan home to Canada.